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New Farmington sledding hill is in the works

Kids are going to have to wait one more year before they’re able to use a hill for sledding at the new Hillview Park in Farmington.

But next year, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to go sledding.

On Monday, the Farmington City Council approved a plan to construct the new sledding hill in 2014. Not that the hill needs to be constructed, but trees, bushes and underbrush have to be cleared before it is safe for sledders.

Hillview Park is not a new park. The three-acre site on Upper 183rd Street has been planned as a park for close to 20 years, Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad said.

But Monday was the first time the city approved a master plan for the site.

The master plan calls for about $10,000 worth of construction next year. That work, Distad said, will be to clear the brush and trees from the hill, to install benches at the top of the hill, and to erect a park sign on the site.

Future additions to the park will include a new play area with playground equipment for children 2-5 years of age, and 5-12 years of age. It also calls for a paved trail around the park and new tree plantings. In full, the long-term estimate to complete the park is approximately $112,250. Aside from the $10,000 expenditure next year, the rest of the cost will be budgeted in the future, Distad said.

Plans for the park started back in April. At the time, Distad was not sure whether the sledding hill could be ready for this winter. After holding a public input session and working with the parks and recreation commission, he now says the sledding hill will wait another year.

“It’s unlikely the sledding hill will be ready to go this year, but the plan would have it ready to go next year,” he said.

Council members approved the master plan and $10,000 expenditure with little discussion. Mayor Todd Larson noted council members had visited the site during a parks tour this past summer, and while he thinks it will be a nice addition, he doesn’t see himself using the new amenity when it’s available.

“Because then you have to walk back up that hill,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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