- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Residents in northwestern Iowa could soon have their own winter wonderland.

The Sioux City Council will consider on Monday a $2.3 million proposal for a winter recreational project at the city’s new Cone Park.

A recommendation based on a recent community survey says the park could include such features as hills for sledding and tubing, trails for cross-country skiing and warm-weather hiking, tow ropes, an outdoor ice skating rink and a warming house.

The project would be built on city-owned land next to the IBP Ice Center and Lewis and Clark Park in Morningside, the Sioux City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1uP1lub ) Saturday.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said the park’s addition could be a first for the state.

“It could be the first winter municipal park in Iowa that I’m aware of,” Salvatore said. “It’s a unique park, so finding a design firm with the right experience could be a small challenge.”

If approved, Salvatore said the park could be completed by December 2016.

The recommendation also suggests the city charge an admission fees, provide concessions and equipment rentals and make the park available for private rentals year-round.

Other considerations include finding a nonprofit or private operator for the winter months and buying a supplemental liability insurance police to protect the city from damages if people are injured while sledding or skating.

In 2012, the city paid $487,632 to settle a lawsuit after a man was seriously injured in a 2008 sledding accident in Sertoma Park.

The proposed Cone Park site is about a mile from Sertoma Park.

Philanthropist Ruth Cone, the wife of a wealthy cattle buyer, created a $200,000 endowment for a new city park. After she died, in 1981, the funds were held in trust for 25 years before being released in 2006.

The Cone Park Committee was formed in 2006 to develop a plan for the park, but had faced challenges finding a location.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com


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