Fargo board OKs Urban Plains park
A proposed park with a 10-acre recreational water pond and other unique features won approval Tuesday from the Fargo Park Board. Members voted unanimously to proceed with the 23-acre park in the Urban Plains by Brandt development in southwest Fargo.
A proposed park with a 10-acre recreational water pond and other unique features won approval Tuesday from the Fargo Park Board.
Members voted unanimously to proceed with the 23-acre park in the Urban Plains by Brandt development in southwest Fargo.
By comparison, Island Park near downtown Fargo and Ed Clapp Park along 32nd Avenue South each encompass about 30 acres.
"It's a pretty significant piece of land," Fargo Park District Executive Director Roger Gress said.
The board had already accepted a gift of 13 acres from developer Ace Brandt. On Tuesday, they approved a land swap that gives the Fargo Park District another 7 acres and voted to purchase another 3 acres for $1 million.
The $1 million actually covers improvements Brandt has already made to the park property, said Jim Larson, the district's finance director.
In total, the park will cost $6 million to develop, with the costs eventually being assessed back to Urban Plains and property owners within the development, Larson said. The district will bond for construction funds up front.
The park, designed by Mike Kuntz of Grand Forks-based ICON Architectural Group in conjunction with Park District staff, will feature a public sand beach along the pond, a waterfall feature, fountains, a sculpture plaza and walking and biking trails.
A stage and an amphitheater will bookend an open lawn bigger than a football field, which could host concerts and festivals, officials said.
"The whole concept is unique to Fargo," Larson said.
The pond will store stormwater for Urban Plains. Water will pass through a settlement pond and filtration bay on the north end before entering the main pond.
Often referred to as a "city within a city," Urban Plains is 328 acres bordered by 45th Street on the east, 57th Street on the west, 32nd Avenue South on the south and 26th Avenue on the north.
The park will run north to south the entire length of the development. Excavating has already begun on the pond.
Engineers did extensive soil tests to ensure the pond won't suffer from crumbling shorelines like those in Bluemont Lakes, Larson said.
Although he voted to proceed, board member Ron Sorvaag said he is still uncomfortable with the project, having first heard about it in October. Sorvaag said he's concerned about how it will affect the district's 10-year capital plan and about the cost to the district of maintaining the park.
"There's no question it's a great project and there are a lot of amenities," he said. "But it's a lot of money."
The board also voted to install a xeriscape demonstration area in Rabanus Park at 4315 18th Ave. S. Xeriscape refers to water-saving landscaping techniques.
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