Following legislative approval, the city of Henderson is geared up to secure voter consent for a half-cent sales tax increase aimed at raising funds to revamp Allanson’s Park, a favored local campground.
Allanson’s Park, a much-visited destination during the annual Sauerkraut Days and for avid fishing enthusiasts frequenting the Minnesota River, is on the cusp of major renovation.
The upgrades, if approved, would be directed toward breathing new life into the 35-year-old campground infrastructure.
Henderson Mayor Keith Swenson expressed that “the improvements to that park that made it into the campground are now 35 years old,” indicating a crucial need for updating amenities such as the electrical hook-ups, which have not kept pace with the escalating power demands of the ever-evolving camper industry.
With campers getting so much bigger and requiring so much more power, the campground needs to accommodate these changes, the Mayor noted, emphasizing the importance of a remodel.
Alongside these updates, there are also plans to reconfigure some areas and introduce additional campsites to the park.
The timing of the proposed renovations could align with the upcoming work on Highway 93.
The legislature’s approval of a half-cent sales tax increment, projected to raise up to $240,000 over a 15-year span, sets the stage for the park’s overhaul.
However, the final decision now rests with the voters, who will potentially cast their votes on the matter this November.
Private campground owners and operators in the vicinity could be significantly impacted by these developments.
Enhanced camping facilities and a wider range of offerings could potentially increase competition. Still, the upgrades might also attract an increased number of tourists to the area, which could benefit all businesses in the local tourism sector.
In tandem with Henderson’s campground focus, North Mankato is ready to submit a loftier bonding request for the Caswell Park initiative, after failing to obtain its requested $10 million from the state in the previous round.
The funds were earmarked for a $23 million indoor recreational facility, poised to house basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts.
The indoor facility’s revised cost estimates now sit at approximately $25.5 million, adjusted for inflation since the project’s original proposal.
Fortunately, the state lawmakers did endorse a sales tax extension for the project. This relief follows the 2016 approval of a $15 million local option sales tax by North Mankato voters for projects akin to Caswell.
Initially, only $9 million received the legislative nod in 2017. However, the remainder of the $6 million was approved for an extension this year, with no need for a return trip to the voters.
The unfolding events in Henderson and North Mankato underscore the vital role that sales taxes play in financing local development projects.
With the potential to significantly shape the future of recreational facilities in these areas, the outcomes of these proposed measures are eagerly anticipated by all stakeholders.