COLUMBUS — Parks department budget requests for items such as a sidewalk/trail to Wagner’s Lake — requested by the mayor — and playground equipment were reviewed by the Columbus Board of Parks Commissioners Tuesday.
The board was told at its monthly meeting that Pawnee Plunge Water Park is scheduled to open May 23 for the 2009 season.
The board reviewed potential line items for the 2009-10 budget, prioritized requests from local organizations for new park projects and submitted its recommendations to the City Council.
Board member Brad Hansen was absent.
The board prioritized a $30,000 request from the Columbus Tennis Association over the request by the Columbus Youth Baseball League for $20,000 to be used for improvements to the Centennial Park batting cage.
A total of $319,000 in parks projects was included in the capital improvement worksheet presented to the board.
Doug Moore, parks supervisor, said the poles are already in place for the tennis association request, but the electrical wiring may be questionable.
“We do have lights out there, but they haven’t worked for many, many, many years,” Moore said. As for improvements to the 35-year-old batting cage, the project would include installation of concrete and carpeted flooring and new fencing.
Moore said the inclusion of the sidewalk/trail to Wagner’s Lake along Eighth Street was requested by Mayor Mike Moser at an estimated cost of $45,000.
Capital improvements requests also included $100,000 for a road to and around Higgins Memorial, $10,000 to replace wooden picnic tables, $5,000 for tree planting, $50,000 for playground equipment, $4,000 for computers and $50,000 for fence replacement at Gerrard Park.
Since Mark Kudron resigned from the position as park superintendent, Moore has been working on drafting a budget for submission to the city and council, which has added extra pressure for the rest of the parks department staff.
The council voted Monday to table the issue of filling the position of public property superintendent.
“It is a new part of what I do,” he said, but it has “been enjoyable so far.”
But with his absence from conducting field work to do work previously done by Kudron, he said the rest of the parks department staff has stepped up, working extra hard to maintain the parks, and he plans to request additional help for the summer months.
Although only two local organizations submitted requests for capital improvements, Tom Hunt, board chairman, said, “we hope to hear more of what organizations want with the new (city) agreements in place.”
The board also approved a request by the Columbus Morning Rotary Club to install a plaque in Frankfort Square for the mural on 26th Avenue in downtown Columbus and received the annual statement of value and activity for Gerrard Park Trust Fund, which lost nearly $1,200 due to investment conditions.