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Possible Changes To Cedar River Use

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Cedar Rapids residents could soon be allowed to swim in the Cedar River.

The City's parks and recreation department is proposing changes to an ordinance that keeps them out.

Some city officials say it will be beneficial to the city.
This isn't exactly swim suit season, in fact the river is pretty icy right now but say some say now is the time to talk about changing an old ordinance.

Winter or not Cedar Rapids is known for the flowing waters in the Cedar River.

Now folks at the river recreation commission want residents to enjoy that amenity.

"These are recreation assets we are hoping to open up if they have merit to open so the citizens have more enjoyment right here at home, said Sven Leff, Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Director.

Right now swimming in the Cedar River within city limits is not allowed unless under the supervision of a qualified senior Red Cross life saver.

Last year, members of the commission proposed changing the ordinance, but parks and recs brought it back to the commission Thursday morning with some revisions.

"It was somewhat generic. It didn't meet the meet the specific goals of identifying what is permitted and what is not, said Leff.

Under the new changes, residents would be able to swim in the Cedar River backwater areas located within Prairie Park Fishery, Seminole Valley Park and Mohawk Park.

"They are some areas that people have already shown a lot of interest in swimming in and the Mohawk cove is one of them, said River Recreation Commission member, Don Clow.

Members of the river recreation commission say it's a cost efficient way to help improve the image and enjoyment of life in Cedar Rapids.

"In most places people perceive the quality of life of this city along the river they don't think of what it's like on 1st avenue they think what it's like along the river, Clow said.

Its not a done deal yet. The city attorney's office and other departments will need to review and agree on the changes before the city council can even vote on it.
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