SAUK RAPIDS -- Some major improvements are coming to several Sauk Rapids parks as soon as this summer.

During Wednesday's special city council meeting, the council approved the design plans for Southside and Lions Park.

Community Development Director Todd Schultz says the project will provide some unique amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Southside and Lions park have largely been undeveloped and under utilized in the community over the past 20 years. This is an opportunity to provide some amenities that will not only be a great addition to the city but to the region as well.

Plans for Southside Park include walking trails, a building for events with a capacity for over 200 people, a canoe launch area and performance plaza near the Mississippi River.

Over in Lion's Park design plans call for an interactive water feature, a small shelter for parties, and multi-purpose courts.

Plans also call for decorative fencing to the peninsula area to replace the current chain-link fence.

Schultz says they've been working on this project for about a year and have had a lot of community input.

We've had an opportunity to discuss this project with a number of folks throughout the community and have had overwhelming support. I think the community is really excited to have this in the city.

Schultz says the next step is to go out for bids on the project and if all goes well work on the sites could begin as early as May.

Total cost for the project is over $7.2-million and would be funded through half-cent sales tax dollars.

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