By Karen Cornelius
Community use permits: According to the minutes, board members approved several more community event group use park permits at their Tuesday, April 18, regular business meeting. One permit went to Maria Santoferraro for beach yoga from June through August. She was also thanked for her $300 donation. Another permit was approved for Vermilion Hot Stove from April 20 to October 1. They approved amended and revised dates submitted by Diane Chesnut for The Friends of Harbour Town through the Christmas holidays.
Park improvement grant: Under new business, chairman Betsy Wakefield announced that Mayor Eileen Bulan submitted a resolution for a 2017 Erie Metro Parks Local Park Capital Improvement Grant that she would like to apply for which could give up to $25,000 to the city. Realistically, the mayor thinks the city may only get $3,000, but she would like the board’s approval to submit the grant. Members carried a motion to adopt the resolution.
Recreation director’s report: Rec director Chad Kuhns stated he is organizing dates for “Movies in the Park” and is looking at July 21, July 28, August 4, and August 11 for Exchange Park if there are no conflicts. He said sponsor letters have been sent for businesses to sponsor rec teams at a cost of $200 per team. He is also working with the YMCA and the high school concerning football rules, skills, and fundamentals.
Historic markers: Chairman Wakefield reported that parks supervisor Dana Corogin requested funds to transplant two locust tress at Showse Park for $500. She said it would cost $1,200 to refurbish the historic marker in Victory Park because it needed to be stripped, powder coated, and letter and design details repainted. The board approved the $500, but tabled the historic marker. The marker was put in the park by the Friends of Harbour Town years ago. It was said it has been neglected. Wakefield suggested speaking with the Archival Society to see if this is a project they would like to fund. Member Terry Parker said overtime there are other historic markers that could need attention and then maybe they could solicit groups to take them on as projects such as service clubs or Eagle Scouts, etc.
Long-term Financial Sustainability Subcommittee: Chairman Wakefield reported the subcommittee was scheduled to meet on April 19. She has met with the finance director on some items. She noted the city had a parks levy on the ballot in 1974 which failed. The money they collect now is from real estate taxes and the homestead exemption which is paid back through the state. Member Parker thought the original tax levy was in the 1960’s.
Ongoing park projects: Member Brad Scholtz reported the Showse Revetment project should start at the beginning of May. Member Parker said parks supervisor Corogin made a change at the Village Greens project and moved three trees to Victory Park. Chairman Wakefield will contact service director Tony Valerius for a sign for the Village Greens area identifying the driveway as a fire lane and saying “no parking.” The Village Greens is parks property in front of the old town hall and the auction house.