By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Wood County Park District plans to spruce up several parks next year.
The park board met Tuesday at William Henry Harrison Park in Pemberville and approved several improvement plans presented by park district manager Chris Smalley.
On the list are work to update the boardwalks, paint the shelters, drain the trail pooling, and install a pond aerator system. Some of the projects have been on the park district’s work list for years.
“We’re really getting our arms around some things” that need fixing, Smalley told the board.
Here are some of the planned updates:
- Replacement of original boardwalks at WW Knight Preserve. “It’s a well-used feature,” Smalley said, adding that work has been put off for years. “They’re at least 15 and showing it all.” The project will cost the park district approximately $18,000. The Country Garden Club has offered to invest $4,000 in the new parkways.
- Painting of the three shelters in William Henry Harrison Park. “All three shelters have seen better days” and haven’t been painted in more than 20 years, Smalley said. The council agreed to hire Toby Ernsthausen Painting and Drywall of Bowling Green to do the work for $11,850.
- Drying out of a section of the Slippery Elm trail. “We’re starting to see ponds,” said Smalley, of a section in the southwest corner where the trail crosses Cygnet Road. The council has agreed to hire Eric Palmer Trucking and Excavating of Bowling Green for $5,400 to install a sump pit that will drain to the Rudolph Road ditch.
- Installation of an aeration system in the Reuthinger pond. Construction company Kokosing created the borrow pit area during work on Interstate 75. Kokosing agreed to invest $7,500 in the aerator system, with the park district raising just under 1 $300. The project will result in healthier pond water, Smalley said. “My goal is to look at storage options on the go,” he said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the park district board heard a proposal to work with Enterprise on fleet vehicle replacements. A representative from Enterprise said that several government entities, including the City of Bowling Green and Bowling Green State University, are working with the rental car company to manage vehicle replacements.
Working with Enterprise, the Park District fleet would have an average replacement time of four years, down from the current 13 years. According to Carl Cultrona, account manager at Enterprise Fleet Management, the “change in philosophy” about vehicles could save the park district nearly $400,000 over 10 years.
Members of the park’s board of directors had several questions and wanted to make sure that the change would not cost taxpayers more.
Board member Denny Parish expressed his feeling that any decision on the fleet replacement program should be postponed until January, when new board members will be in place. Parish, who will retire from the board at the end of this year, said he was not comfortable making a long-term decision that a new board will have to live with.