Peosta residents recently got a closer look at future city projects during a pair of events that mapped out where future frontage roads, parks and trails might be located.
“We were anxious to see what the public thinks,” said City Administrator Whitney Baethke after one of the events. “Usually the public is kind of made aware of the projects as they’re happening.”
About 100 residents attended a public- engagement session to review designs made thus far for future parks and trails. Another 40 people tuned into a virtual open house, where officials with RDG Planning & Design discussed plans for a proposed project known as “The Water’s Edge.”
City Council members recently agreed to have RDG begin designing plans for about 95 acres of private property located west of Cox Springs Road and south of Burds Road, a plot of land that eventually could become a park and trail system.
Baethke said this park plan meets many of the needs voiced by residents in a survey completed last year. Although many of these designs are only in the conceptual stage now, they will give the city a better idea of how and where it can develop in the future, she said.
“The Water’s Edge development is the cornerstone by far because it checks off so many boxes and produces so many things the residents are asking for,” she said.
During the virtual event, one resident asked about plans for constructing continuous sidewalks along Peosta Street and another asked about building additional access and exit points to U.S. 20.
Council Member John Kraft said the city has a sidewalk committee devoted to looking at how the city can improve its sidewalk system.
Marty Shukert, with RDG, described a future frontage road that would run parallel to U.S. 20 and an interchange at Thunder Hills Drive, but Mayor Jim Merten reminded residents that all designs thus far are only conceptual ideas the city will use as it plans where developments may be located in the future.
“This is our way of trying to capture future needs in a visual way,” Merten said. “The actual shape and location of things is far from fixed.”
Baethke said she has received positive feedback from residents who are excited to see their ideas put on paper.
“I think the residents are recognizing that RDG is working in response to the survey, so seeing a direct response to what they’ve asked for is really exciting,” she said. “I know the business community sees this as an opportunity to help attract additional workforce.”