Parks chief: Projects on lists only suggestions

Parks Director Steve Faber said projects submitted for city council to consider funding with contingency money were suggestions – nothing’s been decided on what, if anything, will be done.

He addressed the lists as part of the agenda of the city Parks Commission meeting Wednesday night, noting that he’s received some phone calls and criticisms regarding some of the items on the two lists provided to city Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey last month

He stressed the lists compiled by Recreation Supervisor Shane Franks and Parks Foreman Jim Grimm were just suggestions. The commission didn’t vote on the suggested projects and Faber said he didn’t submit a list himself.

Dickey had asked the commissioners and park staff to think about ideas for the parks and recreation department that could be funded with the contingency money council set aside for small projects.

Council had agreed to place $69,035 from the $1.3 million in shale gas lease money into a contingency fund that council members could use for small projects to benefit their constituents, possibly through their committees, with a limit of up to $10,000 per council member per project or a bigger project if two or more council members join forces. Dickey chairs the Parks Committee of city council.

She was the one who asked park personnel to get cost estimates for placing a dog park area at one of the city parks. Other suggestions for projects included a windmill aeration system for the duck pond at Waterworth Memorial Park, purchasing playground mulch, renovating some areas such as the Centennial Park circle, putting restrooms and a pavilion at Mullins Park, putting a pavilion at the city lake, resurfacing basketball courts at Centennial, resurfacing tennis courts at Waterworth, repairing or replacing boats at the city lake, and remodeling bathrooms at the lake and at Waterworth.

Faber said he told Dickey they should take of what they already have first before adding new stuff.

In other business, Franks gave commission members information about a bass fishing tournament the department is hosting at the city lake on Gamble Road from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 3 with cash prizes available. The entry fee is $20 a person if contestants pre-register at the Salem Memorial Building. The fee the day of the tournament will be $25 per person. Commission vice chairman Terry Hoopes thought it was a great idea.

Franks also reported he’s looking at possibly having an open tournament for church league softball teams in September and was trying to get information out to area church leagues.

In other business, Faber said the city is repainting the stripes in the parking lots at the parks and noted he was told there were a lot of good comments about the appearance of the parks during the recent Kiwanis Antique and Craft Show at Centennial Park. Hoopes and Faber also talked about the Aug. 3 Star Trax 5K Night Run, which goes through Centennial Park and begins and ends at Reilly Stadium, and how great an event it is and how cooperative the organizers are.

Commission Chairman John Panezott ended the meeting by noting the department should have a float in the Grande Parade during the iFest on Aug. 10.He also put in a plug for the Summer Concert Series led by Jack Yarnell held in the band shell at Waterworth.

Panezott suggested residents go to the park on a Sunday evening and take in a concert, praising Yarnell for his hard work in putting the concerts together and gathering the amount of talent that’s featured. Faber said the parks are a large part of the concert series.

The concert this Sunday at 6 p.m. features John Reese and Backbeat.