SAUK RAPIDS -- A Sauk Rapids park project that is underway right now will be getting some additional amenities thanks to some state grant dollars.

City Administrator Ross Olson says they've been awarded $463,000 from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund for the improvements being made to Southside and Lions Parks along the Mississippi River. The fund was created in 1988 with proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery.

Olson says with the additional money they'll be able to add a canoe-kayak launch.

There is a spot right there that is used by local kayakers and canoeists to access the Mississippi River.  There's actually a portage there north of the bridge where you get out of the river if you want to bypass the rapids, and then you get back into the river at this kayak launch.

Olson says the money will also be used to add more lighting to the parks.

Lighting is expensive, especially that decorative style, and so we did a design that is basically the bare minimum, so now we're going to add some more lighting.

Olson says the city won't officially get the funds until it's approved by the state legislature, so those amenities won't be added to the parks until sometime next year.

The city has already earmarked about $9.1 million in half-cent sales tax dollars for Southside and Lion's Parks, a new parking lot, and redoing River Avenue.

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