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The Bismarck Tribune
From locker rooms at the Starion Sports Complex to renovations at Mandan Memorial Ballpark, the Mandan Park Board is tackling projects for 2018 that will largely serve student athletes.
One of the first agenda items during a park board meeting at Mandan City Hall on Monday was the sale of a .15-acre park to the adjacent neighbor for $2,500 and the assumption of more than $14,000 in special assessments.
Mandan Park Board Commissioner Chad Hatzenbuhler said a full agenda at the start of a new year is nothing new.
"Every month is different on what's going on. We've been really busy the last year or two with the sports complex, so it's always something that's on our agenda," he said.
One park agenda item involved resident Steve Van Dyke, who had the only bid for purchase of Lil Haven Park, 300 12th Ave. N.E., Mandan.
Van Dyke, who has lived east of the property for 32 years, said he plans to extend his yard and garden.
"I'm very ecstatic really that I was able to make that purchase because I think that having somebody provide some TLC to that lot will improve it not only for me but for the neighborhood," Van Dyke said of the parcel, which is largely bare dirt once the city removed some playground equipment.
A $600,000 project to provide locker rooms at Starion Sports Complex is anticipated to be completed by early April.
Cole Higlin, the director of the Mandan Park District, said the locker rooms were an add-on after the district's budget allowed for the additional building.
"Once we knew we were under budget by $800,000, then we approved to move forward," Higlin said of the sports complex's $22 million budget.
One park project that seems to be on hold is renovations to Lefty Faris Field.
During the meeting, Mandan resident Jan Fasching, voiced his concern regarding the Lefty Faris Field proposed renovations that have yet to be started.
"We don't know what we're doing yet until we can get the stormwater sewer plan from the city," said Jason Arenz, president of the park board.
"At some point, you have to just put your foot forward and say this is what we're going to do," Fasching said.
Higlin later added that the Park District is waiting on the city of Mandan's storm water plan to move forward on the project, "It's a huge factor into the long term improvements for our Southside Mater Plan," Higlin said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mandan city engineer Justin Froseth said Mandan's Storm Water Plan is expected to be released in May.
Last spring, the Southside Park Master Plan, was rolled out with plans to incorporate park district properties at 504 Third St. S.W., south tennis courts, softball fields, baseball fields, Memorial Ballpark and a maintenance shop, including what is now Lefty Faris Field, all into one park.
When the final master plan was announced, the park district said it would be phased in over a 10- to 15-year time period.
Last month, the Park District announced that BNC Bank acquired the naming rights to the playing field at Mandan Memorial Ballpark, which was first up on the renovations list, following approval from the Mandan Baseball Club.
The baseball club is working on additional fundraising to help with the cost of the $2.5 million renovation project.
Mandan's All-Season Arena also was addressed at the meeting. The facility is receiving a new ceiling, a fresh coat of paint, leveling of the hockey arena, field measurements for the basketball hoops and volleyball nets. The arena is not set to open for recreational use until early April.
Reach Tyana Johnson at 701-250-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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