Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Park Board voted last night not to include repaving the running track at Soldiers Field Park while awarding a bid for a repaving project involving the parking lot at the adjacent parking lot for the golf course and swimming pool.

The board has previously indicated it was ready to spend nearly $300,000 to pave the old cinder surface of the track with asphalt to address serious problems with water drainage that has affected the past several Rochesterfest events at the site. That was met with opposition from local runners, who utilized social media to mobilize a group calling itself “Save the Track.” The running enthusiasts and others proposed using an alternative clay-based surface that would better meet the needs of those using the track for running while also allowing for the temporary parking of food trucks and other equipment associated with Rochesterfest and other community events.

Tuesday’s vote is expected to result in a request for bids for renovating the track using the alternative surface, but the Park Board has indicated it will limit the Park Department’s contribution to the project to the $295,000 it would have cost to install the asphalt surface.

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The Park Board also voted Tuesday to designate the former Fire Station at Silver Lake as the interim location for a community warming facility for homeless individuals during periods of dangerously cold weather during the winter months. The plan calls for spending about $460,000 dollars on renovations to the facility. The warming center designation will be for the next three winters while the city and Olmsted County pursue a more permanent solution.

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