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City Council Considers Fourth Of July Parking

June 29, 2017
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

The Emmetsburg City Council met for a scheduled meeting on Monday, June 26. During the Public Comment section of the meeting, Mike Scott addressed the Council regarding the multi slip dock near the new campground across from Sewell Park.

Scott pays rent to be able to utilize the city dock near the campground. This has become difficult with the on-going campground construction preventing citizens from parking near the dock.

"I have two concerns here- one, I'm not sure what we're supposed to do if we were to park in Sewell Parking lot. That's a little over the length of a football field to walk," Mike Scott commented. "[two] the ground is pretty rough in Sewell Park."

The rough ground has made it difficult for some users to access the dock. There are some citizens that paid rent to utilize the slip dock, but are unable to do so due to the rough land.

"So we're not in the way of the construction, can we just pull off into the grass of Sewell Park?" Scott questioned.

Along with the rough terrain, a silt fence has been installed by the DNR to keep the construction dirt from eroding into the lake. The fence is about 18 inches tall, once again, making it difficult for anyone with limited mobility to navigate the land.

"I can't imagine the lake is going to fill up with silt with a 24 inch opening," Scott said referring to potentially making an opening in the silt fence. Otherwise, users have to step over the fence in order to access their boats.

Unfortunately, an opening in the silt fence is not something that the council can authorize.

"There are others that are not here tonight, simply asking if there is a better way to get easy access to it? One of the families that rents there likes to take her mother out, but she can't navigate that rough turf," Scott explained. "We're looking for some alternatives."

With the busiest weekend of the summer approaching, Scott is concerned about parking and dock access for anyone looking to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. According to the measurements that Mike Scott retrieved off of Google, the Sewell Park Parking lot is about 48 feet by 58 feet leaving room for an estimated seven to eight cars. This is not enough to accommodate the 12 boats that have rented the dock for use.

Sewell Park is owned by the City of Emmetsburg, but the County Conservation Board is the custodian of the property. This means that the council is unable to alter the park in anyway without permission from the Conservation Board. This means that the City Council does not have the authority to build a parking lot.

The Council hopes to have rock parking installed on the property of the new campground, but it would be nearly impossible for the rock to be added to the area before the holiday.

"The road is available to park on this weekend," remarked Frank?Kleigl, Director of Public Properties for the city.

"This is a short term, not a long term [solution]" Scott replied though he was satisfied with the solution.

As a temporary resolution, the City Council decided that for the weekend, parking will be allowed on the street.

As a reminder, it is a 15 mile per hour section of the road. Please be careful as there may be pedestrians present.



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