FCDC to complete land purchase in June

Contributed photo
The plans for the 157.75-acre Wannigan Regional Park in Frazee have been on standby awaiting the legislature to pass a bonding bill, something that was done for the first time in three years last week.

By Robert Williams


Members of the Frazee Community Development Corporation (FCDC) met onsite at Wannigan Regional Park for a design kickoff meeting with Widseth engineers to flush out details on the concept map and where specific amenities of the park will be going in the future, according to FCDC board member Polly Andersen.

Discussions were had on border planting that will be funded by the Department of Natural Resources. The planting is to shelter tent campers and provide wildlife habitat. 

FCDC also plans to coordinate with the city on the park’s official website, www.wanniganpark.com, to allow Widseth’s marketing team to share maps and plans to reach potential park users.

The city council passed a corrected version of the resolution on purchasing the park land that was passed last month. 

FCDC will acquire the land from The Entrust Group, for the benefit of current owner Gregory Ness.

State funding was approved by the legislature Monday evening and the money to purchase the land will be coming out of the Environmental Omnibus bill.

FCDC is buying the land in June and will be transferring it to the city. Approved funding totaled $727,000, approximately $600,000 will be used to buy the land with the balance to be used for Phase I amenities, like trails, a shelter and/or a parking lot. The balance will also cover survey costs, the appraisal, title and an environmental site assessment.

“It’s really happening,” said Andersen.

Phase I work will be done on the west half of the property. The east half of the property needs a future archaeological study. That will not be completed until work begins on Phase I.

FCDC is also exploring different avenues concerning the removal of the gravity sewer line on the east end of town that spans the Otter Tail River. 

Ulteig Technical Project Lead Chris Thorson has submitted an initial report and provided a feasibility study last month based on current material prices and bidding climates. 

The project estimate for the replacement of the 1964 sanitary sewer collection pipe, new piping under the river and replacement of the 1986 main sanitary sewer pumping station and accompanying backup electrical generator building is $1,803,000.

Wannigan Park officials want the pipe removed to allow future kayakers safe access to the waterway. Current considerations include combining the gravity sewer project with the East Main Avenue construction slated for 2024.

“The idea is the East Main project also having water and sewer involved in that project, to tie those dollars into the whole improvement project,” Thorson said. “That’s more attractive as far as funding.”