The Detroit Lakes City Council approved the funding of $300,000 over six years for the Detroit Mountain Recreational Area Project.
Not only will Detroit Mountain be open for downhill skiing in the winter, the plan calls for camping, hiking and biking in the warmer seasons and cross country skiing and tubing in the winter.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $6.2 million. With the city as landowner, there would be no property taxes or debt service, making the project doable.
Since another entity would run the facility, that entity would be responsible for the insurance and benefits for the employees, too, not the city. The operating entity would also be responsible for the liability insurance.
Though the city would be the landowner, another entity — most likely DMRA, though the city has the final say on who — would manage the property, similar to how the Detroit Country Club works. The city owns the land the golf course sits on, but the country club group runs the facility. The employees are employees of the country club, not the city. The country club has its own board of directors as well, just like the Detroit Mountain would.
The same goes for the Legion Campground. The city owns the land but the Legion operates the campground.
City Administrator Bob Louiseau said that if the council wants to support this project, the $50,000 a year for six years could be found in various funds over the years, but, “I wouldn’t pin it down to any single fund right now.”
The City of Detroit Lakes will be the Legal Sponsor for the Park Legacy and DNR Regional Park Grant Applications.
Without the DNR’s $2.1 million grant though, it would be a no-go. The DNR has expressed interest in having a regional park in the Detroit Lakes area. The grant deadline is Sept. 28, and the applicant will know by the end of the year if the DNR grant is awarded or not.