COUNCIL BLUFFS — The River's Edge Park project is back on.
Last summer's flooding on the Missouri River may have halted the creation of the planned signature park for Council Bluffs, but construction is gearing up again.
"The actual physical piece of ground was not impacted greatly," said Matt Garst, treasurer of the city's Friends of the Parks Foundation board.
The dirt placed there last spring remains intact. Additionally, almost no erosion occurred in the areas designated for the park improvements.
"It really didn't do any damage to the park," Mayor Tom Hanafan said this week when asked about the impact of the flooding on the project. He said, though, that minor changes may come about.
"The main thing before the flood was that we piled up dirt, and that is still there," said Skyler Beck, from the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Public Property.
The park, at the foot of the Council Bluffs side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, is to feature a sandy beachlike area at the riverside, an adjacent Great Lawn for gatherings and other amenities.
To help raise funds for the park, the Friends of the Parks Foundation board sought private and corporate donations.
In return, the gifts are to be acknowledged in a donors plaza in the park.
The higher the donation, the more prominent a name will appear in the plaza. Donors could choose from three levels of recognition: bronze for a $25 donation, silver for $50 and gold for $100 or more.
"We raised over $125,000," said Bill Spitznagle, board president. "We were really pleased with the response, because it qualified us to receive state grants."
Each donor recently received a letter offering assurances about the project. "We sent out letters to inform them the project is still on," Spitznagle said.
He estimated the park could be completed by July 2013.
"It will be first-class," he said.
"It's nice to get back on track," Garst added.