How will it all 'shake out' in SL?
A landscape architect is expected to tour Storm Lake in the next couple of weeks to take stock of existing facilities and see what could be possible for a state park.
According to Arnie Sohn, of the DNR's conservation and recreation division, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources lead park planner will tour the area and see what the opportunities are. The planner, Angela Corio, has worked on both new park development and redevelopment of old parks. Her resume ranges from playgrounds to refitting old Civilian Conservation Corps buildings.
Sohn said since the DNR's initial visit a couple of weeks ago, they have gone on to meet with the owners and operators of the Surf Ballroom, who have toured the Cobblestone ballroom with an eye toward renovation. At that time, cost was estimated at $2 million.
A state park designation for Storm Lake could be as simple as a posted sign to a completely renovated Cobblestone Inn that features everything from lodging to conference areas.
"Somebody needs to look at the whole range of resources and opportunities there and package into something all parties can react to and modify and get a hold of," Sohn said.
Any project will likely involve the use of the City of Storm Lake's existing Lake Trail and perhaps further trail development on the lake's south side.
It is too early to foresee management of such a park, though Sohn said if the Lake Trail is used, the City of Storm Lake would retain control and operation of it.
Once a project is agreed upon, a 28E agreement could be formed to work out the particulars of operation, Sohn said.
"We don't know what kind of partnership deal (could develop) linking those together," he said. "We're not sure on how it all is going to shake out."