KASSON — The development of a park and a new fire hall with a police station attached were up for discussion Wednesday night at the Kasson City Council meeting.

The city council reviewed two options for upgrading Lions Park in southwest Kasson. Tim Solomonson from HKGi, a Minneapolis-based planning and landscape designer, outlined the two options, one of which came with more amenities and would likely include a larger price tag, although estimates on that price were not given.

The option favored by Mayor Chris McKern and the rest of the council included a paved road and parking lot that would lead to four baseball/softball diamonds and a soccer or youth football field. Other upgrades included a splash pad that could convert to a skating rink, an archery range, a trailhead that would connect to both a future trail along County Road 34 and a 1-mile loop within the park, and a picnic pavilion and portable toilets.

ALSO READ: Highway 14 — the new open road

He also said a woodlands and wetland buffer along Masten Creek would help down the road for planned residental development near the water tower just north of the park.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The upgrades would not displace current park amenities such as the skate park, basketball court and pickleball courts, he added.

Council member Rick Christiansen said the sports fields would allow the city and school district to host tournaments, which would generate revenue and bring visitors to Kasson.

McKern said because the Kasson-Mantorville School District would benefit by being able to host tournaments, the city could ask for cost-sharing on that portion of the park upgrade.

The second option included two fewer ball diamonds and no archery range. It also lacked a splash pad. What it did add was an off-leash dog park and an expansion of the disc golf course to 18 holes.

"I like the first option better than the second option," McKern said. "We could phase-in Plan A, do the ball diamonds last. The first thing is to pave the parking lot."

City Administrator Tim Ibisch said Option A would be sent back to the city's park board to prioritize elements and look at costs.

In a separate presentation, the council heard two options for the fire hall the city plans to build. One would be a $6.97 million project that includes just a new fire hall. The second option, for $9.34 million, would combine a fire hall and police station in one building.

The current police station, according to the presentation shown, does not have adequate space for common tasks such as holding staff meetings or interviewing witnesses.

McKern said that no matter what, the city should find a way to keep costs as low as possible.

No action was taken on either presentation. Moving forward, the city is hoping for more detailed plans on both the park and fire hall projects.