City looks to improve parks
Playground equipment to be added
By Bert Lehman
In an effort to provide more recreational opportunities, the city of Clintonville has plans to improve its parks.
Parks and Recreation Director Justin McAuly told the Clintonville Parks and Recreation Committee at its Oct. 31 meeting that the department is finishing a project on the north side of Bucholtz Park where rubber mulch is being added to the playground area.
“Before there was no mulch,” McAuly said. “It was a grass area around the swing sets. It was a very unsafe area.”
McAuly added that the youth group from Christus Lutheran Church painted the swing sets.
“Now people are playing on it,” McAuly said. “It’s nice to see children playing on it now. That’s kind of our ultimate goal for all of these parks, including the neighborhood playgrounds.”
Later in the meeting McAuly updated the committee about a commitment of $20,000 from the Olmsted family for playground equipment to be located at Bucholtz Park.
McAuly said the playground equipment costs more than $20,000, and that doesn’t include the mulch and other miscellaneous items. He added that Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland is in the process of securing additional donations to offset the amount above $20,000.
“She’s already secured $3,250 from multiple sources,” McAuly said. “In order to complete this project we need to reach $28,500, so we’re $5,250 short of meeting this.”
In order to not keep the Olmsted family waiting, McAuly told the committee that Eveland would like to move forward with the project, with the idea that the city will continue to solicit donations to cover the $5,250 it still needs for the project.
The Olmsted family also donated money to Bear Creek for park equipment, and McAuly said he thought Bear Creek had already installed the equipment.
“I think it’s important for the city, that it go forward with this and get it done,” McAuly said. I recommend that we push this to Finance [Committee] for approval to go forward with this project, spending up to $5,250 knowing that there’s going to be additional donation money to help offset it.”
Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Steve Kettenhoven agreed.
“We certainly don’t want the Olmsted family thinking that we’re sitting on a $20,000 donation and not doing anything with it,” Kettenhoven said. “I think the city needs to make that commitment.”
The committee unanimously voted to recommend to the Finance Committee that it approve the spending of $5,250 toward the purchase of playground equipment contingent on commitments for approximately $3,250, with the understanding that there will be continued efforts to secure additional donations to repay $5,250.
The committee also discussed the future of Rohrer Neighborhood Playground and Olen Neighborhood Playground.
“We’re all aware that both of these parks are underwater until May or June,” McAuly said. “My idea is to possibly relocate the actual playground sets that are in these parks to maybe slightly higher ground if there is a higher elevation in those parks, and to possibly condense them into one mulch bed.”
Currently the city has $17,000 in capital funds set aside for a playground unit for Rohrer Neighborhood Park in 2018, McAuly said.
He added that it might be possible to improve both Rohrer Neighborhood Park and Olen Neighborhood Park with that $17,000.
The committee will continue to discuss this at future meetings.
Disc golf course
McAuly said numbers have started to be added to the baskets that are part of the disc golf course in W.A. Olen Park. It’s something that users of the park had requested to be added.
Another improvement that McAuly would like to do in the future is add concrete tee-off pads. Currently the tee-off area is dirt.
“If you got to Hatten Park in New London they have concrete tee-offs,” McAuly said. “We do have enough money to do that and I do have some groups that are interested in helping.”
He added that it is possible that the Clintonville Parks & Recreation Department could start a disc golf league at some point in the future.