New Prague receives $85,000 recreation grant from state

By Patrick Fisher

The City of New Prague has received an $85,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Outdoor Recreation Program.

The money will go toward helping the city establish a park area near the Sliding Hill, located along 12th Street and Columbus Avenue NE, east of New Prague High School. The area will include pathways, a general ice skating area and a skate park.

More than 72 cities applied for the Outdoor Recreation Program grants. New Prague was one of only nine communities selected to receive funding. The other communities are Worthington, Dalton, Eveleth, Clara City, Newfolden, Welcome, Claremont and Green Isle.

Ken Ondich, New Prague City Planner, said the application process started in January of this year and had a deadline at the end of March. He had received a similar grant at the another city he worked at. Ondich said this application grew out of two previous applications that the city had made for the skate park, but were not granted.

Ondich said under the terms of the grant, the area must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

To obtain the grant, New Prague is required to at least match the $85,000 provided by the DNR.

Ondich said the city has been setting aside park funds for these projects for the past few years, and those funds will more than cover the city’s match requirement.

Plans for the park include a pathway beginning at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and 12th Street. The pathway will travel north on the east side of Columbus Avenue and will continue to the Sliding Hill. There will also be a 40-space parking lot, across from the bus entrance at the high school, the ice skating rink and the skate park. The Sliding Hill itself will remain unchanged.

The DNR had to determine that the whole project will fit together and lead to future facilities

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