Parks board hears about facilities work


With the parks fully awakened from winter, the Bowling Green Parks Board heard a lot of news about facilities during its meeting on Tuesday.

“Mark and his crew, it’s a lot of things that people don’t see happening, but it has to happen, or nothing else can happen,” said Parks and Recreation Director Kristin Otley, referring to Facilities Coordinator Mark Sauber, who spoke at the meeting.

Otley noted that a project at City Park, funded by American Rescue Plan Act monies, involving repaving and a walking path as well replacing light poles. She said the city’s Electric Division has replaced all of the old poles around the outer section of the park, and the new poles are operational. Additional light poles are to be installed, as well as security cameras.

Otley further noted that all of the parks and recreation restrooms not located in a facility are now equipped with timed locks, which activate when the parks close at dark.

That will be very helpful to cut down on unwanted behavior, Otley said. She further noted that, at this time of year, when the parks become busier, she likes to emphasize that “these are all of our parks,” and that if patrons see things that shouldn’t be happening in the parks, they should let staff know, or call the Bowling Green Police Division’s non-emergency line.

Sauber noted that the maintenance staff has been busy “waking up the parks” after the winter, and that one of the biggest undertakings is the City Pool and Waterpark Complex. There are currently four full-time maintenance staff – and they are currently in the process of filling a vacancy – and Sauber said it usually takes that team about a month or month-and-a-half to get the facility up and running for the summer.

“We’re actually running just a little bit behind because of the weather,” Sauber said, noting that they could turn the water on to the complex soon. The staff will be spending the next week or so pressure washing nearly the entire complex, he said, and conducting necessary repairs. He said that some repairs to the pool house have already been completed.

“We’re on track for a Memorial Day weekend opening,” Sauber said.

He added that they are scheduled nearly to the end of summer on projects to be worked on, including work at the horseshoe pit area at City Park. They will be rebuilding one or two sets of horseshoes there, he said, removing the rest and then installing two sets of permanent concrete cornhole boards.

Work will also take place on the disc golf course at Carter Park, including replacing nearly all of the baskets and redoing a large number of the tee pads, among other work.

Sauber also said they are planning to work on a shade structure for the baseball diamond at City Park, which would cover the bleachers. Sauber said he is working on grants to fund the project.

In other matters, the board:

• Heard that the annual prescribed burn took place at Wintergarden/St. John’s Nature Preserve on March 21.

• Heard that adult changing tables have been installed in the restrooms near the inclusive playground at Carter Park. The tables were funded by Wood County Plays as part of the project.

• Heard from Otley that the department worked with the city arborist to remove three trees in City Park.

“We always think long and hard” about such removals, she said, but noted that the trees were “having structural integrity issues and they needed to come down.”

Otley said that a large burr oak is planned to be “up-cycled” into a sculpture project which will be installed at the park.

• Lacked a quorum to conduct business requiring a vote during the meeting.

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