The Rice County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved awarding a contract for cleanup of the Cannon River Wilderness Park Trail.  Several miles of trails were damaged from the September 20th tornadoes and straight line winds.  Then Governor Mark Dayton approved a request by Rice County for a State Disaster Declaration.  The declaration means the county receives some assistance in the cleanup.

Rice County Parks and Facilities Director Jake Rysavy told Commissioners they received two responses from the Request For Proposal sent out.  The low bidder was Castle Rock Contracting and Tree, LLC for $3.00 per lineal foot of trail cleaned.  Rysavy says they anticipate that approximately 11 miles of trails will be cleaned.  The Rice County Attorneys Office will draft the final contract.

The County Board of Commissioners approved the contract with Castle Rock Contracting and Tree, LLC not to exceed $175,000.

The park has been closed since September.  If you have driven highway 3 from Faribault to Northfield you have undoubtedly noticed all the tree damage along both sides of the road.  When you take 151st Street East from the highway to the Cannon River Wilderness Area Park there is extensive damage all the way on both sides of the road.

Extensive damage also exists inside the park.  I took many pictures at the entrance and along the road leading into the park. While it gives you an idea of the vast damage to trees it's hard to capture the magnitude of the damage.

Imagine being able to cleanup all the damage.  The landscape would be vastly different.

The State Disaster Declaration share will be 75 percent and the Rice County share 25 percent of the cost.

Cannon River Wilderness Park Entrance. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld