Thank you to the 74 Engage Owatonna visitors who suggested a name for the Regional Park area containing Kaplan's Woods, Lake Kohlmier, Kaplan's Woods Parkway and Morehouse Park. The Park Board reviewed suggestions at their May meeting.
The recommendations will be presented at a City Council study session and later at a council meeting for approval.
City Hall Renovations Underway
April 4 marked the beginning of a construction project at City Hall that will update the Council Chambers that have been in use since 1977 and add an adjoining building on the north side.
The City Council, several School Board members, a former City Councilor and approximately 60 community members and City staff attended the groundbreaking event. West Hills Commissioners also attended and were instrumental in guiding the development of the renovation plans to ensure historical elements are preserved and the project aligns with historic preservation guidelines.
The renovation project will achieve the following:
- Provide a more convenient American Disability Act (ADA) compliant, accessible entry point and restrooms.
- Improve capabilities to broadcast public meetings live online and through the Public Access, Education & Government Channel with better audio and video quality and for viewers to hear, watch and participate in person as well as from remote locations.
- Update the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system throughout the building to provide a higher quality of air and increase energy efficiency.
- Enhance safety in the Chambers and the building’s security controls by restricting access to parts of the building when City offices are closed.
- Create a multi-purpose, flexible public meeting space that can be used for a broad range of public meetings and events.
During the renovations, City Council meetings will be held in the Gainey Room at the Owatonna Public Library at 105 North Elm Avenue. The following meetings will also be relocated during the renovation:
- Planning Commission – Gainey Room at the Owatonna Public Library
- Housing & Redevelopment Authority – Second floor Conference Room at City Hall
- Parks, Recreation & Facilities Board – location will rotate, check Owatonna.gov
- Economic Development Authority - Second floor Conference Room at City Hall
Access to City Hall during the work being planned is not expected to be restricted at any time. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2023.
OWATONNA, June 5, 2023 – Trail construction begins this week at Kaplan’s Woods, bypassing the Kaplan’s Woods parking lot. Access to the park may be limited or redirected at times. Please be aware of construction vehicles in the area.
A local contractor, P&R Construction, has been hired to complete the project. This project is part of a Local Trail Connections grant funded through the State of Minnesota, administered through the Department of Natural Resources. Owatonna has been awarded $99,650 for the project with a local match of $33,217 from the City of Owatonna’s Capital Improvement Plan.
Upon completion, expected in mid-June, the trail will be a safer connection between Kaplan’s Woods Parkway and the 18th Street Trail. The paved trail will be ADA-compliant and lighted. The trail will be ten feet wide for two-way traffic, with a buffer on each side for grooming cross-country ski trails in the winter.