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Eau Claire County will vote on Lake Altoona plan

Funding for $9.9 million in projects will depend on budgeting, grants

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    Eau Claire County board member and chairman of the Parks and Forest Commission Pat LaVelle describes proposed changes to be made to Lake Altoona Park on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. View more photos at

    Staff photo by Marisa Wojcik
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A long-range plan to invest almost $10 million into Lake Altoona County Park will be up for a vote Tuesday night.

While the Eau Claire County Board is scheduled to consider approving the three-phase plan, making the projects happen will depend on future budgets and outside funding.

“No definite timeline is set for implementation of the three phases and the county can move forward at a rate that aligns with budget and available grant resources,” Josh Pedersen, parks and forest director, wrote in a memo to county supervisors.

The county’s Parks and Forest Committee decided in 2015 that improvements to the park should not start without a long-term plan to guide them.

Chief among the park’s current issues are a deteriorated parking lot, utilities in need of upgrading, aging buildings and inconvenient restrooms.

Plus, with the area’s urbanization, including new development and homes in Altoona, Pedersen noted the park needs revitalization. 

The park plan includes a new four-season shelter on the waterfront, additional pavilions for small group gatherings, new restroom buildings, an expanded dock area and more parking.

Parts of the park plan may qualify for state and federal grants, which provide part of the funding for them while the county or donors would need to provide the rest, according to Pedersen.

“In order to make this plan a reality, there will be many significant capital investments needed out of the county’s budget,” he wrote.

The 2018 budget doesn’t include spending on the park plan, but the county’s capital improvement plan shows the possibility those projects may be funded in following years.

Contact: 715-833-9204,, @ADowd_LT on Twitter

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