Pavilion progress stalls, trailhead moves forward

Detroit Lakes City Council fails to gain enough votes to seek more designs for replacement building for the Pavilion.

The Detroit Lakes Pavilion is located in City Park near the public beach. The building was constructed in the early 1900s and is used for city events and can be rented from mid-May through mid-October. The Detroit Lakes City Council has been discussing replacing the structure.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES —The project to address the aging Pavilion structure appears to have stalled, while creating a new Heartland Trail trailhead received backing from the Detroit Lakes City Council.

During the council’s special meeting on Wednesday, May 24, City Administrator Kelcey Klemm recapped past council discussions about the Pavilion. He explained in April a work session was held with consultants from an architectural firm that was charged with creating a building design. During the work session, the council agreed the Pavilion needed work, however, the majority of the council didn’t favor the design presented.

Klemm said he requested a proposal from the architectural firm to create additional designs and concepts. The firm responded with a cost of $38,500.

Alderman Ron Zeman suggested they get back to work on the project “one more time,” as much time and effort had already been invested. He encouraged the other council members to support the investment and continue working with the architectural firm. Zeman noted six votes would be needed to proceed.

Alderman Jackie Buboltz listens to Alderman Ron Zeman discuss the city-owned Pavilion.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Klemm expounded on the vote requirement, adding the funds would be considered a public fund expenditure and the city charter requires six council members to approve.


Before the vote was taken, Alderman Aaron Dallmann said: “I just want to let everyone know, before I vote no, that I was against the first one and I’m against this one.”

He added from conversations he had with members of the public the consensus has been to restore or rebuild the Pavilion as it is.

The council vote followed. Dallman was the sole opposition to purchasing more building designs. Aldermen Shaun Carlson, Ron Zeman, Mike Stearns, Matt Boeke and Jackie Buboltz voted in favor of purchasing more designs. The vote ultimately failed because six council members were needed to approve the motion. Aldermen Dan Josephson, Wendy Spry and Jaimie Deraney were absent.

Heartland Trail trailhead project moves forward

The council also discussed an initiative by the city’s Park Board to create a trailhead for the Heartland Trail , a paved path that may soon connect Detroit Lakes to Frazee.

Klemm explained the city-owned property that is located along East Shore Drive in Detroit Lakes was obtained during the realignment of the highway.

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A grant is being sought to help pay for a Heartland Trail trailhead in Detroit Lakes. The site's preliminary plans include a shelter or two, a kiosk with a city map, a bicycle fixing station, a water fill station, a garbage bin and port-a-potty bathrooms. There is also a plan to install electric vehicle power stations, as well as plug-in outlets for electric bicycles.
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A grant opportunity through the Carbon Reduction Program initiative by the Minnesota Department of Transportation may help transform the green space into a trailhead. In addition to providing parking for visitors who transport bikes for jaunts on trails, the venue could offer shelters, basic bathroom facilities, water filling stations and more — including plug-in outlets for electric vehicles and bicycles.

Klemm noted electric vehicle charging stations go hand-in-hand with the grant and are needed in the overall plan to qualify.


The council approved moving forward and applying for the grant, which could bring as much as $500,000 to the trailhead project. If the city obtained the full grant amount, the city portion would be $100,000, Klemm said. He noted $35,000 of the city match would be from in-kind contributions, such as the city utilities crew getting power to the site for the electric vehicle chargers.

“The remainder would come from the city’s capital improvement fund,” Klemm said.

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