The Vermilion Parks and Recreation Board met on Tuesday night, June 20, at the municipal complex for their regular monthly business meeting. Members heard about a new Eagle Scout project, improvements to the various parks, and spent time discussing the museum property. The following are briefs according to the minutes of the meeting:
Church doors celebration: Durng audience participation, Judy Williams explained last month she presented a proposal for a doors project as the United Church of Christ are celebrating their 200th Birthday in Vermilion. The Parks Board gave her approval and she will be working with parks supervisor Dana Corogin in placing these doors strategically around Vermilion. As of that afternoon, she had 24 doors that have been sanded, scrapped, and primed. She is in the process of delivering them to the artists which have signed agreements stating they agree to paint these doors with one of the values; rather generic, of the church. They will be up from approximately August 10 through the middle of October. They will have a silent auction so people can bid on them and she will be in charge of monitoring the auction. Upon discussion with Joe Harold who is a retired NASA engineer; Barb Knapp, retired science teacher from North Ridgeville High School; and, Rich Mason, retired Industrial Arts teacher from Vermilion High School, the doors will be installed as they came up with an idea to put them in a triangular display by using the stakes they use on stop signs and the stop sign will be attached either to the back of door because they are only facing one side, or it will be attached to the sides. They discussed renting a compressor that makes it easier to put these doors into the ground. They discussed possible help from the school kids as they all need community service.
Eagle Scout bench project: Christopher Jackson, Boy Scout of Troop 450 presented his Eagle Scout project. He plans to put a solid granite bench in the city for the community to use. It will be purchased from Milano Monuments as they participate in a lot of Eagle Scout projects. The sitting slab is 4 feet wide, 14 inches and the height is 2 feet. The foundation will be a 4″ slab with rebar for support. It will be secured, but able to be moved with a bobcat. Sponsors who donate over $100 will have their names engraved on the base of the bench. The estimated cost of the finished bench delivered and placed is $3,000. Parks supervisor Corogin said the bench necessarily doesn’t have to be in a park but it would be a good starting point as it’s unusual and it would lend itself to a wooded setting because it’s a natural product. She suggested possibly Sherod Park in a wooded area under some of the big trees.
Jackson said for possible locations they are looking at Victory Park facing west near the fountain to the left of the light post, or facing northwest of the gazebo. These would be used mainly for functionality during the festivals because people like to walk around the park. Also, he suggested another location at Main Street Square near the Vermilion sign and clock monument. This location would be more for display rather than functionality because it’s right by the road. They are trying to keep it out of the way of the vendor space as they like to occupy that area too. Chairman Elizabeth Wakefield asked him if he had a timeline. Jackson said he would like to get it done before next year. Wakefield told him that he would be working with Corogin and asked him to keep the board informed with how his project is coming and then they will look at placement.
City recreation director’s report: Rec director Chad Kuhns reported they are in the middle of baseball season and they also will be starting football. With their league they are able to have five football practices in June and July on Saturday mornings. He addressed the baseball dugout at the high school that blew over with the wind storm in March and they are thinking of ideas to rebuild this. He said that parks member Jeff Keck had an idea with using EHOVE students so it will cut down on the costs. He said they may need to ask the board for a little money to get this rebuilt. Keck said he left a message with the administrator at EHOVE and is waiting to hear from him. He was also going to talk with Steve Holovacs on a possible donation of brick.
Improvements at parks/tree removals: Supervisor Corogin reported on projects at West Breeze Park and noted the Street Department was kind enough to remove the rusting posts at the entrance of the park, and they took down the sign that stated the park was maintained by somebody that is no longer around. They installed a new sign and they removed a tree. In terms of Showse Park, they took one of the picnic tables out of the pavilion and moved it out near the lake as an experiment to see where the public moves it around. They are curious to see where the public likes to use it the most. She would like to consider putting another wood ceiling in the second pavilion. It cost $1,800 last year to do this so she is assuming the cost will be about the same. This pavilion gets used the most because it’s near the parking lot.
She said Village Greens is finished and thanked the Vermilion Foundation for their donation to put the curbs and driveway apron in, and the tree plantings. She said they may have to consider removing trees in the park that are over 100 years old. She said the signs were installed as well. Corogin reported that they have two doggie stations and Main Street Beach is looking to have one too, so they will be looking at that.Board member Terry Parker said at Village Greens there needs to be a sign that says “Fire Lane, No Parking.” Corogin said the service director would take care of this.
Corogin said in Victory Park there is a lot of deadwood in the larger trees and there is an oak tree that died, but it needs to be removed and the stump needs to be ground out. She is asking for one day of labor for the tree company to come and do what is necessary in the park. They will also get two of the trees in Village Greens while they are in town. She is asking for one day of labor for the tree company to remove the dead oak and two crabapple trees, grind four stumps, and trim all dead wood from the large trees. Also, to remove three dead trees on the north end of Village Greens, grind stumps and remove large hazardous limbs.
Corogin further reported that the Lagoons Association last fall asked the service director if the city could please trim the trees around the lift station near Clarion and remove the overgrown brush of which they did. Now the Lagoons Association will follow through with their landscaping plans for the area to screen the lift station and remove and trim the trees in the park. She thanked the tree watering volunteers (Tim Costello, Fred Miggins, Mary Moes, Ken Watkins, Jim Schoene, and Jerry Western)) and the Vermilion Bloom volunteers for watering the flowers, and Adopt-a-Garden volunteers for keeping the areas looking nice. She thanked Dan Pryor and Jerry Massanova who cleaned up the area in front of museum property.
Parks board members approved a wood ceiling expenditure at the pavilion at Showse Park not to exceed $2,000. They also approved the hazardous tree removal in Victory Park not to exceed $1,600.
Parks levy update: Vermilion City Council’s representative to Parks board, Brian Holmes, stated that council passed a resolution for the 1-mill tax levy for the purpose of maintenance, operation, and improvement of parks. He noted a council member asked to refer this matter to the July 10 committee agenda for further discussion.
Chairman Wakefield reported they have money in the coffers to begin informing the voters about the levy. They are sending out more requests for funding as they mailed out 93 letters. They are trying to set up a public relations program about the parks system as they want to promote the parks. The committee would like to know whether or not the Parks Board would give them permission to go into the parks and set up small signage saying, “Enjoy our wonderful Vermilion Parks”. The board verbally expressed their approval.