Morton wants park improvements for trail

2013-10-31T16:53:00Z Morton wants park improvements for trailBy LEANN ECKROTH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

A new park and parking area may accommodate users of the Highway 1806 trail north of Mandan, according to the Morton County Park Board. The trail starts at Eagles Park and will eventually link to Harmon Lake Park. At least two miles of the trail needs to be completed.

Jamie Wetsch, a county park board member, said Thursday that the popular trail needs a vault toilet and parking space.

Park board members have discussed using 12 acres of county-owned land located about three miles north of Mandan at the Entzel Subdivision for a new park and vehicle parking.

The property now has a basic skating rink available. Wetsch said the park board is mulling options like a playground, picnic shelters, a vault toilet, a warming house for the skating rink and gravel parking lot.

Wetsch said the park board has received complaints about trail users parking in the ditch and there being no bathroom facilities along the trail. Residents also have complained, said Andy Zachmeier, also a park board member.

Zachmeier said 15 to 20 parking spaces may be added to keep vehicles out of the ditch and a least one vault toilet to keep walkers from using shelter belts when nature calls. He said the project would be phased in. He believes there is enough funding for the gravel parking lot, vault toilet and basic landscaping in 2014.

Grant money would have to help with some of the other improvements, according to Zachmeier. Wetsch said the park board also is exploring if there could be a private partnership for some of the features.

Park event policy

Wetsch said the park board will draft a new policy about the county’s responsibility for the cost of special park events. He said the policy would spell out what a promoter’s costs will be for special events that require extra preparation for a park site. One example he gave was a large area of tall grass area mowed out. “Basically, we don’t want it coming out of the county’s pocket, “ he said.

Wetsch said there has been higher demand for county parks for triathlons, fitness fundraisers, and gatherings. He said the county is not against special events in its parks. The county does not want to lose money in preparing and maintaining a site for an organizer making money there, he said.

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or

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