Winter weather slows activities at Indian Foothills Park

Thursday, January 9, 2014
The snow Marshall received Sunday, Jan. 5, and continues to see Thursday, Jan. 9, slows down park activities, especially when Indian Foothills Golf Course is dusted in snow. (Rachel Knight/Democrat-News)

The Marshall Park Board met Wednesday, Jan. 8, to hear updates on park activities and financials.

The financial report was pretty slim, according to Park Director Jeff Stubblefield.

"The revenue numbers for fiscal year '14 is down and that's because we haven't received any of the real estate/property tax for the county yet, which should come the next week or two and will be credited to December," Stubblefield said. "In usually, going off the past two years, it is around $200,000, so that will put us right back where we need to be."

Stubblefield said he was optimistic about the numbers.

"Going into our busy time, I feel we are fiscally in pretty good shape," he said.

Stubblefield told the board the golf course has sold several season passes already. People buy them for Christmas presents.

"Dale (McDaniel, golf operations coordinator) asked me to remind people that once the snow gets off to call before you come out to make sure we are open and the conditions are suitable for play," Stubblefield said.

Stubblefield reported to the board that golf course and park staff are working on maintenance such as sharpening chains on chain saws, servicing weed eaters, sharpening mower blades and servicing other park equipment.

"They're doing some piddling work, but yet they're also taking the time off that they need to for comp time they've earned, as a lot of us has," he said.

The maintenance staff has had to deal with bathroom doors not getting completely shut allowing pipes to freeze.

"We will have to fix those in the next couple of weeks to get things back open," Stubblefield said. If it does get up to 50 degrees this weekend, patrons will want to come out to the playgrounds and will want to use the bathrooms.

Board member Sam Untieldt asked Stubblefield to consider using portable restrooms in the winter time.

"It might be cheaper in the winter months to lock the bathrooms and rent porta-potty to solve the problem," Untieldt said.

"That might be an idea," Stubblefield said.

"By time you fix these pipes, you are going to have $50 tied up in that easy," Untieldt said.

"You know you'll have that just in labor," Stubblefield said. He said it was worth looking into and would do so.

Recreation Coordinator Lori Godsey told the board they would have open gym from 6-8 p.m. starting Sunday, Jan. 12, and would run for six weeks at Bueker Middle School.

"It's been pretty successful the last couple of years we've been running it," Godsey said.

She also told the board she would start hiring next month and taking applications for summer jobs in the park.

Stubblefield updated the board on the master plan survey. The park was allowed to send out the survey in the December billing for Marshall Municipal Utilities.

"We've had a really good response from people turning them back in," he said. They received about 400 responses already just from the billing inserts. It has been linked to the parks website and Facebook pages and they are receiving feedback from that as well.

The board decided to contract out the maintenance of flower beds throughout the park. Stubblefield said he has already received one bid and had a couple of inquiries.

"It is very strongly possible that this option is going to be more cost effective for us," he said.

The bid deadline is 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10.

The next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the park administration building.

Contact Rachel Knight at rknight@marshallnews.com

Online:

Marshall Parks and Recreation survey
www.surveymonkey.com/s/YPHB8SR

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