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Ganje affirmed that was the strategy, but said the area hadn’t flooded in years.
The master plan also proposes to renovate Island Station, a vacant power plant on the river that the National Park Service is interested in converting into its headquarters for the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
Unlike the marina, the city doesn’t own Island Station, which is currently for sale by owners who would like a free hand to demolish it.
Recently it was found ineligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, eliminating hopes for redevelopment tax credits.
But interest remains high in reusing Island Station. “If we had a nickel for every idea for Island Station, we’d be rich,” said Tonya Nicholie, president of the West 7th/Fort Road Federation district council and a member of the advisory board. “It’s a compelling structure that hasn’t been utilized in four decades.”
Lantry said some anxiety was expressed at last week’s public hearing about resources being diverted from other city parks to carrying out the Great River Passage plan. She said projects will go through the regular public processes as they arise, and that nothing is set in stone.
But she underscored the importance of using the river to improve the lives of residents and visitors.
“You go all over the world, and people may not know where Minnesota is or St. Paul, but if you tell them you live on the Mississippi, they know. That’s a huge thing,” she said.
Kevin Duchschere • 651-925-5035