SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- Parks and all the amenities they have to offer was a central theme in this year's Sauk Rapids State of the City Address. Mayor Kurt Hunstiger gave his annual update on the city to the Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

You will see some new amenities added to the Lions and Southside Parks this summer thanks to a $500,000 state grant including some more lighting, landscaping, and seating.

The city will also be adding some sunscreens over the water feature. Hunstiger says the smaller building next to the water feature called "The Lookout" will be 100 percent open this year.

Rock the Riverside will be back again this summer with the first concert scheduled to Thursday, June 1st.

Now that the high school has built new tennis courts the city is looking at transforming the tennis courts at Bob Cross Park into pickleball courts. Superintendent Brad Bergstrom also mentioned the former pool space inside the Sauk Rapids Middle School will have three indoor pickleball courts.

The crowd also got an update on the Mayhew Creek Park Project which the city is planning to create a multi-purpose recreational facility. They own 80 acres next to the high school. The $22 million project would be paid for using half-cent sales tax dollars, partnerships with local organizations, $10 million in state bonding money, and $5 million in federal earmarks. The earliest that project could get started would be sometime in 2025.

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Other topics addressed by Hunstiger include some big expenditures the city has coming up including $650,000 for a new well, a half-million to replace an aging fire truck, and starting 2024 a 2-year road reconstruction project for 2nd Street South that includes streetscaping, lighting, sidewalks, sewer, and water.


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