Parks director touts improvements made by scouts

SALEM

Visitors to Waterworth Memorial Park may notice a new gazebo and walking bridge and spruced up attractions near the duck pond, including a repainted Salem Express stagecoach and informational signs.

This summer they’ll notice a new paint job for safety signage around Centennial Pool and the pool deck, the lifeguard chair bases and the diving board base and new baby changing tables installed in the dressing rooms.

The two young men responsible for the improvements through their Eagle Scout projects — Zach Tungate for the pool and Stephen Baer for the duck pond –received recognition at Tuesday night’s city council meeting from Parks Director Shane Franks and members of city council. Tungate was unable to attend, but Baer spoke briefly.

“(I) thank everybody in the community for donations of time, money and materials,” he said.

Both teens are members of Boy Scout Troop 6 at St. Paul Church, which according to Franks, “has done some amazing work in our parks through Eagle Scout projects and we can’t thank them enough.”

Franks spoke in detail about both efforts to improve and benefit the parks during his report to council. Tungate repainted all the signs and markers on the pool deck last fall, including painting new “No Running” signs on the east and west sides of the pool. He also repainted the depth marker signs, cleaned and repainted the base locations of all four lifeguard chairs and the base and stand for the diving board.

Baer cleaned up and revitalized the island at the duck pond, installed a new gazebo, removed and repainted an old walking bridge, added new mulch and newly painted turtle to the playground area, repaired and restored all the benches around the pond, replaced old fencing, updated and repainted the stagecoach and updated the old sign with an informational, interactive and attractive nature theme.

Franks said their work was very much appreciated by the parks department and the local citizens.

Councilman Andrew Null said he thought it was great that the scouts were taking interest in the community and investing in it.

“I’m really impressed by the craftsmanship,” Councilwoman Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey told Baer.

Councilman Sal Salvino also offered thanks to the scouts and Franks and for the Salem Community Foundation. He recently visited SCF offices.

Also during his report, Franks offered thanks to city council for funding for the new park office at 2222 Oak St. He said “we are grateful and appreciative of this decision and promise that we will take very good care of this building.” He also specifically thanked Dickey, city Auditor Betty Brothers and Mayor John Berlin for all they did to make it possible. City council recently agreed to pay off the parks department loan for the purchase of the building. City council had already covered half the cost of the purchase with council contingency funds and used money from an industrial park property purchase fund to pay off the other half, which the parks department had covered with a loan.

Franks gave updates on the Waterworth Memorial Park tennis courts project and surveillance/security system project for the parks, both with money from the Salem Community Foundation, and two projects being funded with $5,000 from the Columbiana County land bank. Plans call for installation of a fountain in the island near the Pershing Street entrance of Centennial Park and a prairie garden to be planted at Waterworth Memorial Park.

During council comments, Dickey thanked the Salem Twin Cinema for recently allowing a caregiver free admission while taking a group of disabled clients to the movies. Councilman Geoff Goll talked about Mobile Meals and how the group has served 315,000 meals since 1978 and never missed a delivery. He also spoke recently to attendees at Salem Day in Florida, which is a gathering for people in Florida with a Salem, Ohio connection.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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