By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
The cities of Orange City and Alton, Iowa, have a history of partnering on projects: the hospital, day care, nursing home, and now a new trail system.
Orange City has two trails. The Puddle Jumper path already connects to Alton. Now, the two towns will take a swing at connecting with this trail near the golf course.
"We spend a lot of time on infrastructure, growing our housing, industrial parks, and now we want to expand on the quality of life," said Alton City Administrator Dale Oltmans.
The two towns have been looking to link up for years.
"We do a lot of stuff between the towns already, and this is another example of us working together," said Orange City Parks & Rec. Director Mitch Aalbers.
Each town made a wish list.
"Fishing, tenting, or camping," listed Aalbers.
Then, an Ames, Iowa, architect put their plans on paper, unveiling three designs to a full house, Tuesday night.
"The three concepts essentially are testing potential locations for all of those different amenities," said Tom Neppl, President of Neppl Landscape/Architecture.
Plans call for expansion of the fishing ponds and docks, new playground equipment, campsites, and the trail to connect the Dunlap Wildlife Area and Roadside Park. Also, an amphitheater on the Orange City side, and a larger disk golf course, and grass field in Alton. Mike Eggert is a Boy Scout leader in Alton. He can already picture the benefits.
"Our scouts could take advantage of having somewhere local to do camp versus having to go out of town," pointed out Eggert.
However, Cheryl Buntsma wants to make sure her Orange City park is preserved.
"I'm not sure if I want to see it become so developed, because there's very very few places in Sioux County in the area where you can just go out and explore," said Buntsma.
Leaders don't know the cost of the project, but they're planning to apply for a Vision Iowa Grant. They hope to see that work completed within two years.
Orange City officials say their master plan also includes extending the trail in the opposite direction to hook up to Sioux Center.
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