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Permission-seeking, planning for dike road pavilion resumes

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River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A plan to build a pavilion and restrooms at the end of the dike road appears to be back on track.

The construction won't happen this summer as originally planned, but officials indicate that the odds are good that it will be built next year.

Hudson's Daybreak and Noon Rotary clubs initiated the project early last year, offering $50,000 toward the construction. The clubs hoped to build the pavilion in 2005 to commemorate Rotary International's 100th anniversary.

Jim Eulberg, the city's director of parks and public works, indicated to the Park Board on Aug. 2 that he has restarted the process of gaining state approvals for the pavilion.

Eulberg reported that he had made calls to regional Department of Natural Resources officials and was told by one of them that the project was approved as far as he was concerned.

According to Paul Gavic, the lead Rotarian on the project, the DNR granted the city a variance a year ago to build the pavilion within 100 feet of the St. Croix River's normal high-water mark.

"That was the big hurdle we thought we might run across with the DNR," Gavic said in a phone call Monday, "but we were able to convince them that it would have a positive impact on the river. The DNR knows that it's short of facilities."

Gavic said the project stalled before the next step of obtaining state approval of the building plans was completed.

He said he and former Parks Superintendent Dan Roeglin and an architect met once to talk about drawing plans for the pavilion. The architect needed more information from the city in order to finish the plans and submit them to the state, but it didn't get put together, according to Gavic.

Gavic said he was too busy with his own work on a big Gavic Construction project in Eden Prairie, Minn., to continue following up on the pavilion project.

Roeglin resigned as parks superintendent at the end of June. The City Council subsequently appointed Eulberg, then public works superintendent, to also head up the Parks Department.

The Park Board asked Eulberg to get the pavilion project underway again.

Gavic said that after last week's Park Board meeting he received a call from Paul Radermacher, a city alderman, Rotarian and member of the Park Board.

Radermacher reportedly told Gavic that he would be watching to see that the project advances.

"Now that somebody's back in charge, maybe we can get it going again," Gavic said.

The city has matched the Rotary clubs' commitment of $50,000 to the project and, according to Park Board members, DNR grant money may also be available to help pay for the pavilion. Eulberg also was charged with looking into the availability of grant money.

Eulberg said two issues that apparently need to be resolved are the size of the pavilion and the size of the holding tanks for the toilets.

Preliminary plans for the pavilion that were unveiled in January 2004 showed a 36-by-72-foot shelter with restrooms at the center of the structure.

"You've got to try to build it indestructibly because I suppose somebody is going to try to tear it apart," Gavic said.

He said having a pavilion at the end of the dike road would encourage the city to patrol the dike more frequently.

The restrooms are badly needed since the end of the dike is heavily used by boaters and bathers - and it's a half-mile walk to the nearest toilets. The city took out a portable toilet that used to stand there because it was frequently vandalized.

"You can smell it," Gavic said of the need for the restrooms.

Randy Hanson can be reached at rhanson@rivertowns.net

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