About two dozen Sheldon area residents had the opportunity, Monday night, to view, and pose questions about, the Preliminary Master Plan Concept for a new community park in the area south of Sheldon Crossing.
Mike Bell of RDG Planning unveiled the Master Plan Concept for the park, which includes many amenities suggested by community members who had attended earlier meetings. Among these amenities were open space, a day lodge, RV park, a playground and shelter, fishing access to the borrow pit, among others, as well as an area for potential residential and commercial building lots.
Bell told the group that he thought it was important to have a portion of the park space left as a natural prairie area, since many people come to these parks specifically to see nature in such natural prairie areas. He stressed the importance of having both what he called an “urban aspect” as well as an unimproved nature area in the park.
Bell said that the plan would provide everything the state looks for when providing funding for parks, since the plan addresses quality of life, health and economic development.
When questioned, Bell said that the project would be developed incrementally over a number of years. He said the first part would be the pond, or as he put it, “let the pond be the pond”. After that, he said, the city could take a proactive stance and partner with developers to develop the residential and commercial building lots to generate part of the finances required to complete the project.
Bell told those present that the proposed park would put Sheldon in the position of having a better park than 90 percent of the communities in the state of Iowa.
He said that the next step will be a final plan, with a model of the proposed park, and then a presentation to the City Council, complete with cost estimate information, all of which should happen in the next several weeks. He said he would plan another meeting in Sheldon in early February.
By Tom Traughber