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Public Hears Sheldon Park Plan Proposal

SheldonSheldon, Iowa — For the past several months, the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation and the City of Sheldon have been working with RDG Planning and Design to update the community Park Master Plan adjacent to the Sheldon Crossing Development.

Wednesday evening that updated plan was shown to a public meeting attended by about forty people. Since the Planning Committee had focused on an Events Center as a priority this was the center of the presentation by Mike Bell of RDG. He showed a street leading along the east side of the park beginning at the existing roundabout to the proposed site of the Events Center on the north side of the pond. The proposed Events Center often has been referred to as having a capacity of three hundred people, but this was based on widely spaced large round table seating. He demonstrated that this could easily be re-arranged to seat nearly four hundred people for such events as a wedding dinner. If the center is used for a seminar or conference it could possibly accommodate up to six hundred.

The Events Center would have a patio on the south side, overlooking the water. There would be a seven-and-one-half acre green space on the southwest side, and a large parking lot for cars and buses. Other features of the park would include a recreation area with such features as basketball hoops. This would be located near the housing development. There would be several picnic shelters and rest rooms in the park, as well as trails. The DNR surveyed the pond, and it has been stocked with the appropriate fish. The estimated cost of the building, the road to the Center and the parking lot is 4.6 million dollars. Bell also discussed the possibilities of grants which might be available to help defray the cost.

Bell emphasized that marketing the Events Center will be important, noting that it will have many advantages over others in the area. This includes the water area, plenty of nearby parking, and an adjacent grassy area where children could go to play during events. One problem that will need to be resolved is who will manage the facility. It could be run by the City or contracted to a private party.

The general plan was met with approval by the majority of those speaking at the meeting and Bell explained the next steps. First of all their company will develop a detailed preliminary plan. As a second step they will get a third party to determine the estimated cost. Then, they will develop an estimate of what it will take to operate the facility. This will be done with the help of a firm that specializes in this kind of work.

When all this information is compiled, RDG Planning and Design will bring it to the City for their consideration. It is expected that this will take place in July.

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