Park board fine tunes strategic plan
By Brian L. Gray
The Mandan Park District’s comprehensive strategic plan was on the table during a special meeting with Stantec Consultants.
The board met with Stantec Senior Associate Stuart Krahn to hash out a rough draft of its strategic plan at a meeting on July 30.
The theme of the park board’s planning revolved around parks, trails and open space. Six overall key goals were identified as part of the future plan – to develop a master plan, provide a variety of recreation programs, work with various entities to develop a new recreation center, develop a trail system master plan, acquire park and open space and establish funding sources.
As part of the comprehensive trail system, Krahn said many bicyclists have expressed concerns that when biking from Mandan to Bismarck, they must travel south on either the Expressway Bridge or the Memorial Bridge, and a trail over the Missouri would be beneficial up north.
Parks Director Cole Higlin said at this time it is not possible to finance this type of project, and that it has a better chance to come to fruition if it ties in with the future plans for a new corridor between north Mandan and Bismarck.
In discussions with future financing, the park district plans to update a 30-year-old fee policy the city has in place, but is waiting for the city of Bismarck to enact its own policy before it takes action, so that Mandan is not left at a disadvantage. It tentatively plans to charge developers 7 percent of land or 7 percent of the market value for future park use. The city previously had a first of two readings of the ordinance, but the plan remains on hold until Bismarck takes action.
Stantec Consultants met with the park district as a part of a larger master plan for the city of Mandan to prepare for its future growth.
Krahn said that Stantec has done all of the necessary background research and is in the analysis stage of its planning. The special meeting was held to receive feedback from the board in forming the future plan. “We’re now at the creating of goals and objectives phase of the process,” he said.
Stantec will continue to analyze the information brought up during the meeting and return to the park board at a later date for a second revision before the plan is finalized. It will also meet with the Mandan City Commission during its next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at Mandan City Hall.