A crowd packed the River Falls Public Library's lower level Wednesday evening, Nov. 14, for the city's final Kinni Corridor open house.
Kinni Corridor Committee member Lisa Moody said she was excited to see new faces at the open house. And she's excited to see the concept plans the committee has been working on getting closer to becoming reality.
This latest iteration of the concept plan being developed by the Kinni Corridor Committee with consultant company HKGI was presented in the form of several large maps on boards that event-goers could view.
The planning concept includes:
• Improved connections to, and along the river, with additional parks and conservation easements
• Enhanced pedestrian/bike connections and facilities,
• More river access and trailhead locations,
• Enhanced and additional overlook and river view points,
• Increased pedestrian-friendly amenities and additional seating and overlooks along the RiverWalk alleyway.
• Added parks that could go in lake impoundments after the dams are removed
• Rotational local art displays
• A possible new nature center
• A possible community garden
• Additional ADA compliant water access
• More walking/hiking/biking trails along the river's edge
• Additional bridges connections near the river
• A more pedestrian-focused streetscape
• A possible opportunity for the farmer's market on Elm Street near Main Street
• Possibly converting the power plant to new use
• Several different options for a new look for Main Street with bike racks, trash cans, street trees, benches and permeable pavers installed in parking areas to allow rain water to sink into the ground.
• More "green infrastructure" like stormwater detention ponds, more green space in parking lots, urban tree canopy, planter boxes and increased vegetation in streets and alleys to address stormwater concerns etc.
At Lake George's location, additional park space concept plans include:
• Wetland park space which would assist with stormwater treatment
• Community gathering space
• Picnic areas
• A possible bandshell/amphitheater space
• More pedestrian trails along the river's edge
• A nature play area
• An ice skating facility
At Lake Louise, some opportunities mapped out in the concept design include:
• A possible nature center
• More picnic areas
• Additional ADA-compliant water access
• More parking
• Wetland restoration/river edge naturalization
Assistant City Administrator Julie Bergstrom said the event drew good attendance.
Mayor Dan Toland opened the event thanking those present, and those who could not be present for sharing their time, ideas, feedback, passions and concerns over the course of the Kinni Corridor process.
"I am proud of how we came together on a decision about our hydro facilities and how we've continued to work together to design a corridor plan that suits our collective vision. You will see those results tonight.," he told attendees in a prepared address.
Toland particularly thanked committee members Chris Blasius, Rick Bowen, Jason Egerstrom, Dave Fodróczi, Gary Horvath, Rita Kozak, Patricia La Rue, Lisa Moody, Adam Myszewski and Susan Reese. Toland also thanked the City Council for guiding the city through the process.
Toland invited those who are interested to consider serving on the implementation committee, known as the Public Private Partnership, or PPP.
HKGI will collect feedback given at the open house and bring it back to the Kinni Corridor Committee.
There will be a City Council Workshop on Dec. 11.
In January, Bergstrom said, the committee will make it's final resolution/corridor recommendation. That recommendation will go before the city council in January or February, likely February, Bergstrom said.
Meanwhile, more information can be found at kinnicorridor.org. People can share feedback via that site, or by contacting Community Development Director Buddy Lucero at 715-426-3423 or at email@example.com.