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Fitness equipment up, but not open in Salem park

SALEM — The new adult fitness equipment has been installed at Waterworth Memorial Park off of Sunset, but Parks Director Shane Franks said he needs to find out what conditions need met to safely open usage to the public.

“We’ll see,” Franks said.

He reported on the progress of the installation during a recent city parks commission meeting, saying the equipment was in place but the rubber surface still needed to be installed which he thought would be soon. Some work was being done today.

Franks needed to find out from the health department what the protocols would be for opening the equipment up to the public.

He also said he was very pleased with the sturdiness of the equipment and “the overall workout you’re going to get.”

During an update on COVID-19 considerations, he said they still can’t rent out pavilions for large parties, noting as of right now, no more than 10 are allowed at a gathering with a few exceptions, such as a wedding, but even those have to follow specific guidelines. Commission Chair John Panezott said the public needs to understand that it’s not the parks commission making all these orders.

“It’s the governor’s orders we have to abide by. We’re limited in what we can do,” he said.

Franks added that all the public sees is the govenor saying something can be opened but they don’t see all the restrictions that have to be followed. He said things may be open, but it’s not back to normal, and that applies to most everything in the parks. He asked the commission members for their opinion on the basketball courts and whether he should take one of the rims down on one side to try to prevent full court pickup games, but Panezott said to leave the rims alone.

“People have to use their own common sense. We can’t babysit everybody,” he said, adding they have to take their own responsibility.

Franks said he and parks personnel have done their best to meet as many requirements as possible for operating under COVID-19.

“I’m trusting this community to take some responsibility for themselves and they have,” he said.

The commission briefly discussed the splash pad after Franks raised the issue of whether they should open it up under the state guidelines, but the consensus was to leave it alone. The decision had been made to not reopen the pool and the splash pad is within the pool area.

Parks Foreman Jim Grimm updated commissioners on some of his department’s projects beside the routine maintenance of the parks, including making repairs to motors, working on drainage and taking care of storm-damaged trees. He had the use of four community service workers and gave a shout out to the police, street and utility departments for some recent help. Recreation Supervisor Amber Smith also gave a brief report, saying she’s trying to come up with a list of possible activites that can be done. Go Wild in the Park programs with the library remain suspended.

The next parks commisson meeting will be held at 5 p.m. July 22.

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