Des Moines' $55M Birdland Marina plan snubbed in budget plans
Birdland Park and Marina's nearly $54.5 million rehabilitation was largely snubbed in some preliminary budget plans outlined last week by the Des Moines City Council.
Why it matters: The plan to repair and modernize the marina area will be shelved if the city doesn't approve an adequate allocation, councilperson Linda Westergaard argued to fellow council members.
- Hundreds of residents and more than a dozen groups helped develop the concepts, which have been promoted as an economic development project.
- The project's timeline depends on grants and fundraising, but it could take anywhere from 5 to 20+ years, city officials said.
State of play: Recreation advocates are trying to get some of the first pieces of a separate $125 million Iowa Confluence Water Trails (ICON) proposal going, but the project is diverting lots of local government resources.
- Ben Page, the city's Parks and Recreation director, told council members that $1 million is budgeted for Birdland's first phase, though that's largely for boat ramp and shoreline improvements.
- Further progress is unlikely without a larger city allocation, Page said.
Between the lines: Adding significant projects — those $5 million and above — places pressure on the city's tax rate and can result in cuts to other projects, Joe Brandstatter, the city's deputy finance director, warned the council last week.
What to watch: The city's finance team will again review the project's financing, including whether federal money allocated for pandemic recovery can be used, city manager Scott Sanders told the council.
- The council will adopt a final budget next month.
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.