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Newport branching out with parks

A master plan is in the works for a riverside park in Newport, along with parks planning for the city's several other parks.

The city has purchased several properties north of 16th Street and east of Cedar Lane that they plan to convert into a park on the Mississippi River.

"We have enough land that it's time to start really taking a look at how we can develop that," City Administrator Deb Hill said at the Dec. 7 city council meeting.

The council approved 5-0 a plan to engage engineering firm TKDA for park planning and design.

City Planner Sherri Buss, of TKDA, said she and landscape artist David Gray will be leading the design and concepts on the project.

The city is looking to add amenities to the levee park such as a kayak and canoe launch, an ADA accessible fishing pier and trails. The city has also offered the new park as a location for the historic Red Rock to various Dakota groups.

"There are not many communities that get to think about a new park on the river," Buss said. "We see this as just a gem of an opportunity."

Loveland, Pioneer and Lions parks master plans will also be updated. They were last done about a decade ago.

Buss said they will be moving ahead in the coming months by planning with the Parks Commission and a public meeting. The city has requested they seek grant funding.