LCCD wants a fresh look at Pollmiller beach

The Lee County Conservation District has hired a Des Moines firm to look at improvements to the beach area at Pollmiller Park. Courtesy photo LCCD.

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – A West Des Moines firm will be looking at enhancements to the Pollmiller Beach and nearby trails in the near future in West Point.

The Lee County Conservation Board of Directors approved spending up to $21,000 with Shive-Hattery Inc. Architecture and Engineering on a professional services agreement to provide concepts for amenities and improvements to the beach area.

The contract will include site plans of the suggested improvements and an opinion on the probably costs of the work.

It also includes gathering current data using park maps, attend a half day kick-off meeting to serve as a site visit to establish goals and expectations.

Concepts will be developed around the concessions/showerhouse building, overall beach aesthetics and fencing recommendations, parking improvements, trail connections and walking access to the beach, and a bridge replacement.

The conservation district will engage the public in helping develop recommendations for the area. The whole process could take up to three months

“We can get going as soon as you’re ready. This will take us about six weeks in terms of how we do our process. Once we start that process and give you input, you might have to have board meetings and it might stretch out to two or three months,” said Emily Naylor, project manager with Shive-Hattery.

“We will work with you based on your needs to do the work and the design.”

Naylor said the first thing would be a half-day workshop at the park and then concepts would start being sent out for a thumbs up or down from the district.

“We’re gonna try and come down and do a site tour, we’re gonna really look around and ask you a whole bunch of questions and hone in on what you are trying to accomplish,” she said. “Then we start emailing ideas and things. But eventually, there needs to be some filter or funnel of decision making.”

The costs include $18,000 plus expenses for the scope of services in the agreement and then $3,000 plus expenses for optional 3D graphics of the concepts.

Once plans are developed, the district then would enter into other agreements for engineering and construction services for the improvements.

“This plan kinda grew from the beach to how we can connect other areas of the park, too. We have an old bridge that needs to be removed and we want to look at how to connect campgrounds better without people walking on the roads – a bridge over the lake or ideas like that,” said LCCD Director Nathan Unsworth.

Unsworth said he didn’t think the beach itself needed much improvement and will stay where it is, but access to the beach should be looked at.

Liza Alton said the services would generate a plan for the beach area, and then the next step would be to move forward with executing the proposed improvements.

Unsworth said Shive-Hattery did a similar project for Big Hollow Recreational Area in Des Moines County. They have also done large projects in Polk County to other smaller park projects in the state.

In other action, the board:
• voted, 4-0, to purchase a used mower
• voted, 4-0, to purchase a new conservation truck
• voted, 4-0 to approve updated job descriptions and the new 2022 pay scale for conservation staff

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