Three times in one week recently, Rock Creek Park Ranger Brad Taylor was called upon to perform river search and rescue type duties on the Mississippi River, Walt Wickham, executive director of the Clinton County Conservation Board, told his group at a recent meeting.

“Once was to get a boat that had gone over the dam, once to look for lost boaters on the Wapsi River and once to look for a possible runaway,” Wickham said.

“We don’t have the appropriate type boat for this kind of work. Brad is checking with Chance Kness (Emergency Management director) about possible funding for a rescue boat to be docked at Rock Creek.”

Meanwhile, the agency has received more than $6,500 in reservations for county parks via a new Mycountyparks.com website and all campsites were expected to be dry in time for today’s holiday.

“I am very happy  with the site,” Wickham said, “and I would like to implement an online discount for youth groups.”

Currently, youth groups may rent cabins for $3 a night per person and tent sites at $2 per night.

The board will discuss the amount of the discount again at a July 12 meeting. In order to qualify for the discount, members of a youth group must be 17 years of age or younger.

Grant to help aquarium

Wickham also reported that the Clinton County Development Association has awarded $150,000 to the Eco Tourism Center currently under construction for the Mississippi river aquarium and other displays.

The 9,000-gallon aquarium is expected to cost about $225,000 and take five months to build.

First a mold has to be built and then several inches of seamless acrylic will be layered and allowed to “set up.” The aquarium will then be shipped to Rock Creek, where it will be installed, along with filtration equipment.

Darin Voss, Natural Resource technician, reported that a log buyer has offered $2,925 for 25 oak trees, two walnuts and four cherry trees at Sherman Park, which were blown down during a storm last year.

The money will go into a reserve account to be used for wildlife areas. A couple of standing  dead trees per acre are to be left for wildlife. Also the tops and brush from the  logged trees will be left for habitat.

Bid too high

The board agreed to reject the lone bid for an on-site wastewater treatment system at the Eco Center.

The bid of $125,090 was $40,830 more than the engineer’s estimate. New bids will be opened July 12 on a modified design.

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