The Regional Park Authority covered lots of topics Monday during their first regular meeting in several months, including activity over the summer.
“We’ve had a great summer,” Parks and Recreation Director Teresa Ervin told the board.
A fishing tournament, several 5-k runs and athletic tournaments were hosted at Regional Park over the summer which will soon be switching gears for fall athletics and even beginning Christmas preparations.
Ervin said they’ve already given the Festival of Lights’ front entrance a face lift and their new permanent building should be delivered next week. The building had previously been donated by Builder Bob’s every year.
“We are getting ready for Christmas,” Ervin said. “We will start in September putting (the lights) up.”
While they will no longer have the help of Department of Corrections offenders, she said they are adjusting and trying to do a little bit of juggling to make sure they will be able to do the same great job.
The board also discussed the hay lease they put out for bid, but Ervin said they did not get one offer this year.
“There’s plenty of hay and everybody has hay,” she said, adding that everyone she’s talked to is either too busy or they’ve got more hay than they can store.
Ervin said she’s worried about the fire danger it presents and asked the board to let her know if anyone they knew could help out.
While that was bad news for the parks department, the good news was that the kid’s fishing pond was stocked this summer without spending any money. Ervin said a man from Tishomingo who received fish through a grant for a fishing derby gave them fish for free.
“So we were very fortunate and had a lot of fish given to us for nothing,” she said, adding that they were pretty decent-sized fish, too. “I’ve seen kids down there catch them and they were so excited. They catch a fish like that, that’s a big fish.”
The office has a certified state scale now, as well, so people can certify and weigh the fish they catch if they would like. Ervin said there never has been a lake record for City Lake, located in Regional Park, and there were some sizable bass caught over the summer.
The Lakeview Golf Course is also doing well with two new greens at holes 13 and 16, she said. They will soon be looking at some capital improvements, as well.
“We did get some capital funds to improve our watering system out there, which for a golf course, water is crucial. So we will be improving our irrigation a little bit and we’ve got some money there to put in some new roofs on the Pro Shop and the maintenance shop,” Ervin said.
YMCA interim director Jana Weichbrodt also updated the board on the remodeling of their permanent facility and how their temporary facility is working out.
While the temporary facility has been working out alright, she said their membership is not as strong as they’d like it to be.
“A lot of them left because they wanted the pool and wanted the gym and I can understand that, but we still have all our programs going. We still have all of our exercise classes,” she said.
The permanent facility is completely gutted right now and demolition is almost complete, she said.
“They boarded up all the windows and it looks like an abandoned building right now, although there’s a lot going on inside,” Weichbrodt said.
Construction on the permanent facility is expected to be complete in July, she said.
The board also approved new items of business on Monday, including a letter of engagement with Casey Russell for the 2016 audit and a letter of engagement for the end of year financials with Smith Carney.