The city of Clear Lake hopes its continued investment in City Beach will attract more people to the community.
Jason Blome with RDG Planning & Design reviewed the final design for the second phase of the city’s beach enhancement project Monday with the Clear Lake City Council during its meeting.
“Having the good fortune of being involved in the planning of this thing, I think the plan has exceeded expectations,” said Councilman Mike Callanan. “From a personal standpoint, it’s got the wow factor, and I think the locals as well as people visiting our beautiful community are going to find it as a very wonderful thing for the city of Clear Lake.”
The second phase, estimated to cost $1.2 million, features the construction of a splash pad, a new restroom facility, a sun shade shelter, landscaping improvements and lighting.
The splash pad will be located northwest and southwest of the new restroom facility and it will contain three zones that can be activated individually.
Each zone comprises water features that are appropriate for different age groups, Blome explained.
The zone northwest of the restroom facility is geared toward young children with smaller water features, like foaming geysers, gushers, split streams and jet streams and fish, frog, leaf and pico vertical structures, The two zones west and southwest of the facility will include “more showy” water features with LED lighting.
“The strategic reason for these locations is they’re right along the beach and walkway, kind of a nice forefront to the restroom building that will have some art features incorporated on the façade of that building,” Blome said.
The restroom facility will have two stalls for both men and women as well as drinking fountains. It will also store the mechanical equipment for the splash pad as well as the lake aeration pumps.
The sun canopy will be positioned between the water treatment plant and the beach at the former site of the playground equipment.
City Administrator Scott Flory said the playground equipment, which was about 15 years old, was “a very limited piece” and was not recommended for re-use by the city’s liability insurance carrier.
The public feedback the city received “overwhelmingly favored” a sun canopy and a larger splash pad, instead of playground equipment, he added.
“It’s a great design for that particular area,” said Mayor Nelson Crabb. “You know we talk about enhancing our beachfront, and this certainly does do that enhancement as well as connect to our North Shore Drive banners.”
A committee, comprising members of the City Council, city staff and community organizations, has been working with RDG Planning & Design of Des Moines since June. The city hired the firm for up to 11 percent, or $176,000, of its construction budget, according to the agreement.
The project was identified as a capital improvement in Clear Lake’s 2020 budget. It will replace the original splash pad that was among nearly $400,000 in City Beach improvements completed in 2007.
“I think we’ve got a real good design for this phase of the project,” Flory said. “It’s really well-thought-out and well-planned.”
Earlier this month, Dean Snyder Construction completed the first phase of the project, which cost about $237,000, including water main improvements and demolition of the restroom facility and pump shed.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ lake aeration pumps and associated equipment, previously housed in the pump shed, are being stored through the winter in a temporary building constructed this fall.
The DNR’s equipment will be relocated to the city’s new restroom facility next summer.
The total cost of phase one and two is estimated at $1.4 million. It’s being paid for by Clear Lake’s general fund that will be reimbursed by the city’s tax-increment financing fund for capital improvement as approved by the City Council.
Residents will have an opportunity to weigh in on the second phase of the project at a public hearing set for 6 p.m. on Jan. 6 at City Hall, 15 N. Sixth St. The project’s bid letting is slated for Dec. 19.
Work is anticipated to begin on the project in 2020 when weather allows and be completed June 22.
Photos: Clear Lake Yacht Club Sailing School 2019
Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.
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