City has no plans to replace it
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville will remove a park shelter at W.A. Olen Park. The shelter won’t be replaced.
The park shelter in question has been a topic of discussion for more than a year. When the Clintonville Finance Committee met Aug. 24, 2015 to discuss future capital improvement projects, one of the capital improvement projects was to replace the shelter with a new shelter. The line item figure in the budget was $50,000.
At that meeting, Justin McAuly, Park and Recreation director said, “Right now it is ready to fall down. I think it’s a safety concern.”
It was also at that meeting that Lois Bressette, who was a member of the committee at that time, and is now mayor of Clintonville, suggested the city work with Clintonville High School to have students help replace the shelter.
After that meeting, the city contacted Clintonville High School about having students build a new shelter for the city as part of one of their offered classes.
The topic was again discussed this year on Aug. 30 at a Park and Recreation Committee meeting. At this meeting, committee members toured the enclosed shelter in W.A. Olen Park, as well as the shelter that McAuly said was unsafe and needed to be replaced.
During the tour of the enclosed shelter, McAuly told committee members that he’d like to see the enclosed shelter renovated, which he said would cost around $10,000. This would include updating the stove, raising the ceiling inside, adding a ceiling fan to circulate air, adding better lighting and adding countertop areas inside.
Another improvement would be to improve the electrical layout inside the building as currently one side of the building doesn’t have enough electrical outlets, so renters need to run extension cords through the building.
If those improvements were made, McAuly said he thinks the building would be rented more often during the year. The last four years has seen the building rented 14, 25, 20 and 25 times during their respective years (with 25 times being in 2015).
When the committee toured the shelter McAuly wanted to replace, McAuly showed committee members where poles in the shelter are rotting and also pointed out issues with the roof.
“It’s just a really, really old structure,” McAuly said.
McAuly suggested replacing the shelter with a new one that would include service doors, windows on the gable ends, and garage doors on the sides.
“Essentially it’s enclosed and open, depending on what the renter wants,” McAuly said.
The cost would be $27,000 to replace the shelter with a new shelter.
He added that this would allow the city to use the shelter for storage in the winter. The shelter in its current state is filled with picnic tables, park benches and trash containers in the winter months.
From 2003 to 2015, the deteriorating shelter has been rented an average of seven times per year, McAuly said.
During the Aug. 30 meeting, Bressette asked what the consequences would be if the city tore down the shelter but didn’t replace it, instead investing in the city’s enclosed shelter.
“Considering the long-term outlook for our city finances I would suggest not putting any money into it and demo it and invest over there (enclosed shelter),” Bressette said. “If we can actually renovate that to a year-round facility then we may be able to make better money on having something year round.”
McAuly said all the city’s shelters are rarely rented at the same time.
“Usually this one is ignored because it’s not much to look at, it’s really not that large,” McAuly said.
At a future meeting, the committee recommended “in-house” removal of the shelter and not replacing it.
The Clintonville City Council approved that recommendation on Nov. 8. The shelter will be removed prior to the next rental season.
The Park and Recreation Committee continue to discuss renovations of the city’s enclosed shelter.