LaRiviere Park nature center building in need of a new home

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By Correne Martin

The nature center at LaRiviere Park needs to go, and the city of Prairie du Chien would like to offer it to the public first, at the cost of self-removal, before demolishing it. This decision was made at Tuesday night’s common council meeting, upon recommendation from the LaRiviere Park Board.

According to city history, this Design Home Building was moved from the city sewer plant and previously used as a contractors unit in 1990 at no cost to the city. Initially, it was used by Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and cross country teams, as well as a nature center one summer. The last time the building was actually used was 10 years ago.

The city inspector advised that upgrading the facility for public use would mean providing electrical, water, water heater and bathroom upgrades according to state code. The roof would need to be replaced. The cost for all this would likely be between $10,000 and $15,000.

The current city staff finds it not feasible to keep a regular presence at the facility.

According to what was reported at the meeting, anyone interested in acquiring the building should be willing to move it at no cost to the city. This would require a moving permit and zoning approval if moved within the city limits.

The city is considering utilizing the area within the park for future functions, such as weddings and other special events. To do so, the city would need to install an electrical power source in the location. Another consideration is to use the space as a new viewing area or gazebo location.

If no one comes forward with interest and the building ends up being demolished, city staff should be abe to remove the building with minimal cost involved, except for a dumpster fee and landscaping to fit the vision of the city.

In related LaRiviere Park notes, the council learned that the park house was demolished and removed for about $7,600. Electrical upgrades were made to the barn at the cost of $6,500.

Tin siding is being installed on the barn and milk house, the milk house will be roofed and gutters and venting installed by January 2018 for $22,300. Moeck Construction is the contractor for this project.

These upgrades have all been accomplished with LaRiviere Park funds, at no cost to the city’s general fund. The park’s funds have an estimated remainder of about $70,500.

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