SARTELL -- The first step on whether to expand the parking lot in front of Bernicks Arena in Sartell has been taken.

Back in April, the council agreed to follow staff recommendation to delay engineering work until more overall site concepts were discussed.

During tonight's (Monday) city council meeting, city staff brought a different proposal for the council to discuss, which was later approved by a 4-1 vote.

The new plan includes the essential survey of the land, drainage design and wetland work needed to make use of the space. However, the approval does not include the final designs for additional parking.

Council member Steve Hennes was against this idea. He says he is concerned about moving forward without knowing the future of the community center first.

The project would cost just over $21,000 and would come from the Public Improvement Revolving Fund. The amount is lower than the project $25,000 discussed back in April.

The council has been talking about the possibility of adding an additional 208 parking spaces in the open field directly in front of the arena for the last few months.

Proposed parking lot expansion design for Pinecone Regional Parks. (Photo: Sartell City Hall)