RIVER Development Corp. President Mike Worthington made good on his promise of last week to talk to the Humboldt city leaders about improvements his group would like to see done on the Des Moines River in town. Monday night, Dec. 17, he approached the Humboldt City Council.
“For the last seven years, our group has been trying to find solutions to improve the recreational use of the river by removing the sediment behind the dam.
“It was during our pursuit of this that we found out about the opportunity to develop a whitewater rapids or mini whitewater park within the confines of the river, while still attacking the sediment and dam gate issue,” Worthington told the council.
A preliminary report from the Recreation Engineering and Planning company from Boulder, CO, indicated the best way to achieve the greatest potential results for sediment removal and creating a whitewater canoeing/kayak-ing/tubing area, is to combine the two projects into one large-scale plan.
“After looking at the area east and below the dam, they thought the least expensive way is to build up the mill race and put the whitewater structure/amenities there,” Worthington said.
“A large share of what could happen will be on city property. Then we have to decide how to go about raising the $1.5 million to make that part of the project happen. But first, we’ve got to secure about $60,000 for a design study, along with document research and preparation for DNR review in advance of receiving a permit to do the work,” the RIVER Development group spokesman said.
After some further discussions, Humboldt City Councilman John Sleiter moved to earmark $10,000 from the city's hotel/motel tax fund (about three fiscal quarters worth of earnings) to the RIVER Development Corp.'s design plan.