Park will keep original Wedge name after all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 10, 2002

After voting to name Wedgewood Park Wangen Park two weeks ago, the city council overturned its decision Monday night.

After hearing from the family of former mayor and councilman Marvin Wangen, council member Mary Kron said that renaming Fountain Lake Park as Wangen Park would be all right with the family as an alternative. Wedgewood had been the original park to be renamed, but after some criticism from citizens about renaming a park that had been previously named after another historic figure, the council decided it had made its last decision too hastily.

Councilman Ron Sorenson gave the history of both Wedgewood and Fountain Lake parks in order to clear up any misunderstandings. Wedgewood had been given to the city by the Wedge family in 1961. The Wedge name stretches far back into the history of Albert Lea and many citizens believed part of the Wedge legacy should not be erased by renaming Wedgewood Park.

Email newsletter signup

Sorenson found that Fountain Lake Park had been purchased in 1933 and was not a gift from any family. The land has no connections to any name, he said.

The council voted to take back their decision and table the proposal to rename Fountain Lake Park until a later date.

In other council news:

– The council passed a levy limit of $1,607,310 for the 2003 budget. That limit is the maximum the city could have levied for 2003.

&uot;We are establishing the maximum we can levy,&uot; said Paul Sparks, city manager. &uot;When we vote on this in December we can go lower than this.&uot;

Sparks urged the council to levy the limit because the state is undergoing a budget squeeze for 2003. He anticipates less Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state for the upcoming year.

The council will make a final decision on what the levy will be in December when they pass the budget.

– The council passed a resolution to approve an engineering contract for traffic signal installation at County 46 and Township 105, or Blake Avenue. The engineering cost is estimated at $14,760.

As of now, the city does not have authorization from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to proceed with the construction of a signal because no decision has yet been made in regards to traffic being an issue at that site. Wal-Mart has interest in building a &uot;supercenter&uot; store at that site, so the traffic level would most likely increase in that area if they do decide to build there.

This move was made in order to help make it easier for Wal-Mart to move into a lot at that site, the city says.