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Millpond public dock provided for river users

A new dock was installed last week at the millpond in downtown New Richmond. The dock will be maintained by the city and provide access for boaters and a fishing spot for anglers.

Boaters and canoeists along the Willow River now have a way to make a pit stop near downtown New Richmond.

A new dock has been installed on the millpond next to the Subway restaurant, thanks to funding from the Upper Willow River Rehabilitation District. The dock was purchased from Warner's Dock in New Richmond.

The idea for the dock came from local resident Irv Sather.

"It's an idea I've had for about three years," Sather said. "There has never been a dock at the millpond. I finally got activated to work on it this spring. I'm glad to see it's now at the stage that it's at."

Sather, who serves on the New Richmond Pathways Committee, said the project fit into the goals of his volunteer organization.

"We're fostering the use of pathways in the community," Sather said. "And the pathways can be both liquid and dry pathways."

Sather said he's recently had a growing interest in providing improved recreational opportunities for area residents. And the fact that his home sits near the banks of the Willow River made the dock project a natural for him.

"The hope is that the dock can be used by boaters and canoeists who set off at Mary Park," Sather said. "They can come downtown, use the dock and go to the Dairy Queen or Subway ... whatever."

Mike Reiter, president of the Upper Willow River Rehabilitation District, said the dock project fits well into that organization's efforts to increase the recreational use of the river that runs through the city.

Now the group will begin working on its next effort, he said. The group wants to make it easier to portage a canoe past the millpond dam so that people can travel all the way down to the Nature Center property.

"We'd like to have a take-out right there," Reiter said, "better than what's there right now."

The New Richmond Park Board agreed to have the dock installed and city Parks and Recreation employees completed the task last week. The city's Park and Recreation Department has agreed to maintain the dock access in the future.

Just moments after the installation was complete, young fishermen were spotted on the dock. Canoeists, boaters and anglers are all welcome to use the new dock, Sather said.