Clear Lake council approves professional services agreement to get Surf District project underway

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night approved a professional services agreement with a Des Moines company to take care of several tasks associated with the Surf District project.

The city last month received approval of a $4.37 million grant from the Destination Iowa Creative Placement Grant Program to assist in the expansion and relocation of Clear Lake’s Music Enrichment Center to allow for improved performances and educational experiences,  as well as to allow gateway and streetscape enhancements around and on Buddy Holly Place, and waterfront connections from the Surf Ballroom to the lakeshore.

City Administrator Scott Flory says the RDG agreement deals with two different components of the project.  “This particular service agreement deals with two of the items, they are identified as the Surf District gateway and streetscape component, as well as the lake connection between the Surf and the lake. This only deals with those items.”

Flory says one of the things that will be looked at is giving some attention to some of the streets and intersections around the area of the Surf.  “Vehicular issues like 8th Avenue North and Glen Cove Drive, we looked at that in the application maybe closing that street off just as a concept for the grant, but that’s something we can take a look at. A partial repaving between 8th Avenue North and Highway 18 on Buddy Holly Place. Everybody has commented on that many times, and fully understand that that’s in need of attention.”

Flory says RDG will also be looking at some placemaking features.   “We will be looking at things like the gateway features, public art elements. Roadway features would involve things like repetitive Surf District-theme signage and lighting, as well as wayfinding elements. Then we get into the lake issue, the promenade connection, the district-themed connection between the Surf and the lake with enhanced landscaping, lighting, seating and signage. Also potentially a small-scale pavilion, as well as a boat access dock.”

The cost of the agreement is $510,000. The schedule calls for preliminary design to begin this spring, with construction taking place in the spring and summer of 2024.