Evart plans progress on parks and more
EVART — It’s going to be a good year.
As municipal officials look to the coming year, planners in the City of Evart believe the last minute spurt of growth and development toward the end of past year will continue into 2012.
That’s a very good thing.
“I think the coming year will be an exciting one,” reported city manager Zack Szackas.
“We’ve had a pretty good year in 2011 — despite some obvious difficulties as a result of the general financial situation around the state and nation.
“But we are really looking forward to good things in the year to come.”
In 2011, the city created master plans to guide planners in a variety of fields — including the city’s parks and recreation program.
“We hope to by awarded funding that will give us a foot up as we look to develop parks throughout the city, making them more accessible and useable for all our residents and visitors,” said Szackas.
“We need to make sure all of our parks are compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
“We want to make sure all of our facilities are accessible to every visitor.”
The city recently hired a planning consultant, Marlis Manning, to make sure everything was in order as they work their way through the grant application process.
Not only is effort being expended on the existing Riverside Park, but city planners are looking to develop the North End Park into a useable recreational complex.
Starting off the new year, there is also a largely new Council in Evart following elections in November — a council that will be dealing with budget issues for the first time.
“It’s an exciting time in our city,” noted Szackas.
“We’re moving ahead.
“We’re struggling a little — as is every other community this state.
“We have, however, a vision for this community. We have a council that has the real good of the community at heart.
“Now we just need to see if we can translate vision into action.”
Szackas reported the city planners would be using 2012 to revisit the Master Land Use Plan.
“That’s a biggie,” he said. “We need to work on this plan in order to create clearer guidelines for ourselves as we look to the future.
“At this stage, we don’t have any major plans for capital outlay projects in 2012, but we need a master plan in order to be able to address projects that will come up in the future.
“Having a master plan in place makes it easier for us to apply for grant funding.”
One project that is being considered for 2012 is the paving of Recreation Avenue — the street that swings around the Osceola 4H FFA Fairgrounds.
This may be a cooperative effort between the city, Ice Mountain, and the fairground’s board.
While nothing has been signed on as yet, city planners are hoping to bring that road up to grade as soon as possible.
“I think we’re going to have a great year in 2012,” Szackas.
“We will be creating good plan, and we have Council members who really care.
“That’s a great combination.”