By Karen Cornelius
The Vermilion Parks and Recreation Board met on Tuesday night, February 20, for a regular business meeting. They discussed a variety of topics including an interesting proposal to regionalize Sherod Park and combine it with Vermilion Township’s resources. The skate park’s future was front and center as well as talk on renovating the pool deck and the possibility of restrooms at Main Street Beach. The following are briefs from the board’s minutes:
Community event permits/Corvette show/new dog event: At the last meeting there was some concern about the July 7, 2018 Vermilion Corvette Show using parking on the grass at the Village Greens in front of the old town hall. In February, the coordinators of the show, the Dicarlo’s addressed the board telling them they needed the Village Greens parking space and would take care of it. Last year there were 232 cars and this year they could be even more. It was suggested they use the Fulper parking lot at the corner of Liberty and Grand instead. DiCarlo said it was too far away and should be used for the spectators who come to see the show. They need more space to park because there are so many activities going on that day such as the Farmer’s Market, Antiques in the Park. the fireman’s breakfast, and the car show. It was decided to authorize the use of the Village Greens at the discretion of the parks supervisor and coordinating the event with her. DiCarlo said they have $5 million worth of insurance to take care of the property.
A new event was also discussed called Woof! A Dog’s Event for Saturday, September 15, 2018. The request to close off the street at Huron for vendors and use Main Street Beach for dog activities was brought to the board by Main Street Vermilion. The event would include a parade and award ceremony. Main Street would clean up the area after the event. The board approved this request. Another request came from the College Club of Vermilion to use Victory Park for their May 4 plant sale. This is a fundraiser for a Vermilion High School sholarship. This was approved as well. More requests were submitted from the Daily Downward Dog Yoga on Main Street Beach and Showse Park from May 28 through September 3, 2018, and from Grace Methodist Church for Worship by the Water from May 27 through September 2, 2018. Both were approved by the board.
Vermilion Township proposal for Sherod Park: Attending the meeting was Vermilion Township Trustee Charles Trinter who told the board they had an interesting proposal at their meeting by a resident who wanted to see if the township would do something with a park in the township. Since Sherod Park is in the township, but owned by the city, there could be an opportunity to use some township donated funds or grant money to enhance and improve Sherod. Trinter asked the board if there would be any interest. Parks supervisor Dana Corogin said the city of Huron has created a regional park and recreation district which incorporates their township so the township and city working together with funding to provide services and activities could be a great idea. The board agreed they would be willing to work with the township. Corogin suggested they could meet with the city of Huron to see how they went about regionalizing their park.
Rec director’s report/basketball: Rec director Chad Kuhns reported that they had 85 basketball participants and 14 in the cheerleading program. They worked with Firelands to make it a five team girl’s league. He said he is continuing to attend monthly meetings for the youth football program and they are working on setting up a flag football program for the spring. Corogin asked about a tennis program. Kuhns responded that the last two years they never had enough participants to have one. Corogin thanked Tim Costello for maintaining the ice rink all winter. She hopes next year they can rent a shed to shelter people from the wind.
Skate park plans/renovations: The parks supervisor Corogin reported that the skate park group has held meetings and they are working on a power point to present about a regional skate park which is preferred to be located on school property. They are also working hard to refurbish the existing skate park and plan on doing the actual work the weekend of March 9. Hopefully they will reopen the park after this is done. They also need a new sign as the current one is in bad shape. She asked for $500 for the sign which the board approved. The group would like to call the park, the Skate Spot. It was noted the money being put into renovations should last the next five years while they are working on the big plan. Right now the current park is closed and youth are asked not to jump the fence. Mayor Jim Forthofer commented that the board should be aware the city is looking for a location to build a new fire station with one possibility at Devon Drive and Douglas so they should consider their future investments in this area.
Lawn mower purchase: Parks supervisor Corogin asked the board for $10,000 to purchase a new 72-inch Super Z Hustler law mower plus mulching blade and to purchase a new seat for the Scag mower at $500. The board approved both amounts.
Harbor View Project(former museum): During the subcommittee reports, board member Jon Logue said their group is focused on creating greater public access for the former museum site known now as Harbor View. He said city council just supported a resolution to send a $1.2 million request for state capital budget funds. Under old business, member Bill Warden asked if they would be addressing restrooms at the beach soon. Logue said the museum property committee will be discussing this and present something to the board soon. Logue said it depends on what’s available and its cost, and it will hinge on where the money flows for this project. If they get state funding approved, they would have access to the money and could start demolition perhaps in July. They would lean on putting something temporary in at this point.
Parks board budget: Member Terry Parker said the committee hasn’t met, but he did have a conversation with the new finance director, Amy Hendricks, telling her they was a concern about not knowing where they are financially. He was advised that she is working hard on the budget and will bring the board up to date soon. She provided a list of opened purchase orders to be reviewed by Parker and Corogin to see what was spent to get a more realistic number of what’s available in the park levy funds.
City pool renovations: Under old business, Member Jeff Keck had a conversation with Bob Cunicella, pool manager, who advised the deck concrete and water leak need to be addressed. In the near future Cunicella would like to replace the diving boards with slides. The leak problem is currently being addressed before quotes on the pool deck due to costs.
Parks board schedule: The board will meet again on Tuesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal complex on Decatur Street.