RIVER OAKS KITCHEN EXPANSION!

In June, Governor Walz allowed for the allocation of the 841.4 million from the state’s share of Federal CARES Act funds to local governments who had eligible costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Cottage Grove submitted the Coronavirus Relief Fund Certification form to Minnesota Management and Budget, and by the end of July, the City received $2,813,281.

The CARES Act Funding went towards many different facets of the City; including public safety measures, disinfection of public areas, staff teleworking equipment, unemployment costs for furloughed workers, and COVID leave costs. After all these expenses, there were still funds to be shared.

Aerial view of the progress made on the new River Oaks kitchen expansion.

Due to COVID-19, the staff has been challenged to maintain efficient operations for food and beverage service here at River Oaks while assuring protection to employees and patrons through a safe work environment. The current two-kitchen system accompanied by the lack of storage space and doors on the main level poses complications in food preparations, traffic patterns, touchpoints, and delivery and storage. This led to the Parks and Recreation Department to put together a proposal that would help mitigate these problems and make River Oaks a safe place to work and keep their guests happy.

On September 2nd, the Cottage Grove City Council voted on a contract proposal for the expansion of kitchen facilities at River Oaks at a not to exceed price of $672,345.

It was approved. The construction will break ground in the next few weeks and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. This new expansion will help River Oaks achieve the financial success that COVID-19 has compromised, both in the short term and long term.