by Dennis Dalman
A new parking lot for Val Smith was approved unanimously for specs-and-quotes by the Sartell City Council at its last meeting.
Val Smith Park is along Sartell’s east side, just to the north of busy CR 29, with Country Manor across the road from the park. For a long time, residents and council members had expressed concerns about the crowded on-street parking on that road.
During events at the park, such as the Police Activities League with children and sporting events, there would be a long line of vehicles parked on the north side of the street.
Benton County and the city of Sartell are partnering for a reconstruction of the county-owned CR 29, and part of that agreement is that there will no longer be on-street parking allowed on the new roadway.
To create the new parking lot in the park, the current children’s playground there will be moved over to another area of the park. The new lot, with 24 parking spaces, will be built to connect with the current parking lot, which holds up to 26 vehicles.
The parking lot project could be completed by Memorial Day, according to city staff. It will cost $88,000, with money to be used from the city’s street fund.
The CR 29 reconstruction project will begin early this summer.
Council member Mike Chisum called the parking lot project a “fantastic solution at a reasonable cost.” It has long been badly needed, he said, and he thanked city staff for its inception and planning.