Iolans weigh in on plans

Several downtown merchants agreed it would be beneficial to have a state park in Iola. Even some former Elks members said they were pleased, though the group was caught off guard when Iola Industries ended a lease agreement after 40 years.

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February 10, 2023 - 4:18 PM

The “John Brown Cave” at the Lehigh Portland Trails. Register file photo

Having a state park in Iola would be a boon to the community, several downtown merchants agreed.

In a short survey of proprietors along Madison Avenue, most said they supported an effort to convert the old Elks Lake and surrounding trails into Lehigh Portland State Park, saying it would allow greater public access to the lake and be a boon to the local economy.

Such a plan was introduced this month to Kansas lawmakers, who along with Gov. Laura Kelly, have the final say.

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