The Parks and Streets Committee set a public forum for Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m., at the East Park Cabin. (Rain date is May 21.) Residents are invited to attend to share their ideas on improvements for the city parks.
The past two forums the committee has scheduled this year were cancelled due to weather and a question of advertising.
During the committee’s monthly meeting on April 15, committee member Eric Webber suggested it might be a good idea to develop a management plan for the parks, based on the feedback received during the public forum.
“I’ve never seen a comprehensive document. We need something in place to follow,” Webber said, adding it should include a mission, an inventory of the city’s current park facilities, maintenance standards and improvement needs.
Committee chair Shirley Clark agreed.
The city will also need to review how Freese Fund dollars are eligible to be spent, and create a list of improvements that money will be spent on when it becomes available. In December, the city is expected to get $350,000 from the Freese Foundation to use in 2015.
An update on the disc golf course was also given. It’s unofficial name is “Reservoir Ridge” and will be located at Amicks Reservoir. Webber showed a tentative map of how the course will be laid out and a picture of what the hole signs will look like.
The local disc golf club is still seeking hole sponsors. Donations are being handled by the Galion Community Foundation. Any individual or business interested in contributing to the creation of the course should contact Eric Webber for further details.
A purchase order has been put in for the baskets; they are a new type of basket and Galion will be the first community in Ohio to have them. No concrete pads for the tees will be installed until next year. Webber said they want to make sure the baskets are placed correctly; they can be moved if adjustments need to be made.
Clark said she would like to have a grand opening for the course after the baskets are installed.
Also during the meeting, Clark said she looked into what happened to the playground equipment that used to be at Keller Hall (now the Avita Pediatric Therapy Center). Last year when the county sold the land to the city, it removed the playground with the intent to install it at the county fairgrounds. However, that never happened.
Clark said the equipment is disassembled and housed in various buildings at the fairgrounds. Some pieces were even in a nearby field.
City Council President Carl Watt, who is a former county commissioner, noted the equipment was expensive. He recalled a price tag of close to $30,000. He and Clark agreed it would be worth the cost of bringing the playground back to Galion.
County Commissioner Doug Weisenauer said in a phone interview that the commissioners did pass a resolution to give the equipment back the city. He recalled city officials came to the fairgrounds last fall to look at the equipment but the county has not discussed the issue since then. “As far as we’re concerned, we have given it back to the City of Galion. It’s here for them when they want it,” Weisenauer concluded.
The committee is still unsure of how to improve Cobey Park. They discussed the possibility of a dog park, in the area that abuts East Street. However, liability issues will need to be looked into.
The Heise Park Cabin has suffered from groundhogs burrowing underneath it. When the issue was brought up, Clark said the city is aware of the issue. Blocks were put under it last year, but the groundhogs have continued to burrow, threatening the structure’s foundation. The city continues to work on the problem.