ST. CLOUD -- Residents of St. Cloud were able to give their input on the first phase of upgrades to the Riverwalk along 5th Avenue Wednesday night.

The St. Cloud Public Utilities Facility hosted an open house and gave tours of the facility to the public. St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says one of the two proposed plans includes making a portion of the road into a one way.

The road is very wide everywhere until it gets to the water treatment facility, so we have a few options. We want to hear from the public, especially folks that live along this area.

The Riverwalk construction will connect the Beaver Island Trail to the Lake Wobegon Trail. The project will also coincide with upgrades to the water treatment plant that services St. Cloud and St. Augusta. Kleis says the combined construction project will begin in the spring.

Next year when we are doing the upgrade for the water treatment facility we will start the riverwalk project from the north side, and then the following year we will connect that to the south side. The bulk of that will be the following year, 2021, but it will start as we do the upgrade to the water treatment facility next year.

The Riverwalk project is being funded by a previously approved sales tax increase and the upgrades to the water treatment plant are being funded by a gradual increase to water and sewer bills over the course of 2018, 2019, and 2020. The facility was last upgraded in the 1970s.

A follow-up event presenting the information collected from the public will be held on December 4th at Whitney Senior Center.