By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie’s new Central Park is progressing ahead of schedule, according to members of the Central Square Committee.
“The project is taking shape and will soon be finished because of the many volunteer hours,” Committee Member Ralph Machemehl said.
Among those volunteers were members of the high school football team.
The committee acknowledged the varsity football team and coaches for their help with the project, which involved picking up rocks and debris on the grounds in preparation for seeding.
Machemehl said after the football team finished removing the debris, Duane Radke, crew leader with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and his crew raked and groomed the park.
Other steps included in the project were completion of the wiring, installation of the sprinkler system, and grass seeding.
The committee said trees will be planted in mid-October.
Committee Member Jerry Pawelk presented an update on the project to the city council Sept. 8.
Pawelk acknowledged the role of city employees in keeping the project moving.
“City employees and equipment have been great,” Pawelk said. He estimated that at that point, city employees had contributed about 56 hours to the project.
“We are about three years ahead of schedule,” Pawelk commented.
“As far as I am concerned, it looks great,” Council member Larry Hoof said.
“I have heard a lot of favorable comments,” Council Member Ron Foust said.
Council Member Bob Messer, who is the park board liaison, said the council will recognize all of the contributors when the project is complete.
In addition to the many hours of labor and materials that have been donated, Pawelk said five benches have been donated, as well as a picnic table and a trash receptacle.
Committee Member Donna Machemehl said the benches and picnic table should be installed this week.
She added that the committee has also been notified that someone will be donating eight pallets of sod for the project. After the sod is installed, the remaining area will be seeded.
The new decorative lights are now on in the park, Donna said, and things are falling into place.