Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 31, 2000

Montissippi Park project still a priority

By John Holler

For the last several years, the Wright County Parks Department has hoped to get assistance from the state for improvements to Montissippi Park in Monticello.

As the project is now in the second of three phases - a phase that includes parking lot improvements and construction of a play structure and shelter facility, Parks Administrator Mark Mattice came before the Wright County Board at its Jan. 25 meeting seeking approval to again apply for state grants for the project.

The project, which is estimated at a cost of $100,000, was rejected by the state in 1999, which got a pair of commissioners to question the feasibility of getting approval this year. Commissioner Elmer Eichelberg said that restroom facilities at Schroeder and Collinwood Parks are both in need of repair and Commissioner Ken Jude asked if the Montissippi Park project was something that was prioritized on the list of parks projects for which the county seeks completion.

Commissioner Pat Sawatzke said the Montissippi project has been in the works for almost a decade and the only stumbling block has been state-aid funding.

"Since 1993, this has been a priority for grant applications," Sawatzke said. "This isn't anything new. We've prioritized this for six or seven years and it's been a matter of taking time to get it done."

Mattice said that $25,000 has been budgeted for the project and, if approved by the state, another $25,000 will be budgeted for 2001 to pay the county's share of the improvements. The board voted 4-1 to proceed with the grant application process. Jude voted against the motion, saying that other parks in the county have more pressing needs than Montissippi Park.

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