WARSAW — The nearing completion of the Pike Lake Boat Ramp and approval to extend the annual Lakes Fest in 2016 to two days were among the topics discussed at the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18.
Larry Plummer, parks superintendent, reported the new ramp has been installed and the handicapped accessible pier is expected to be installed next week. The ramp will remain closed until the project is complete. Reopening is expected by the end of the month
Plummer explained the new ramp was installed by welding 8-foot sections together and pushing them out into the lake, until the desired length was reached. “There will be no more boat wash out,” he stated. The new ramp extends 50 feet into the lake, while the old ramp was only 8-feet into the lake. “This is the Cadillac of boat ramps.”
Dr. Nate Bosch, director of the Center for Lakes & Streams, presented a request to expand the annual Lakes Festival to two days in 2016 and change dates for 2017 and the future. Bosch stated the event is continuing to grow and there is a desire to have events more centralized. He noted Central Park has the facility and space available to expand the festival.
Regarding future fest dates, Bosch stated a desire to hold the event the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. This could also be used as a kick-off to summer. By hosting the event on a holiday weekend it will be easier to remember.
Plans are already in the works for the 2016 event.
The board approved June 11-12 for the 2016 Lakes Festival and Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 2017 for the festival.
Liz McKinley, recreation director, presented an activities report on programs and events. She noted a wet and soggy start to the summer brought attendance and participation down in many events.
The free concerts attendance totals were estimated at 14,000, with 1,315 in attendance to date on the Central Park Concert Series.The largest attendance was for the concert with Wade Hayes, Bryan White and Mark Wills, an estimated 6,000 attending.
The Family Carnival on Aug. 7, was up and over last year in ticket sales and attendance. A total of 12,274 tickets were sold. Future community events in the planning stages include the Fall Family Fun, Oct. 9, Letters from Santa, Nov. 16-Dec. 4, Light up the Night, Dec. 4, Central Park Holiday Light Display, Dec. 4-31 and Christmas Countdown, Dec. 11.
McKinley also presented information on the community canoeing, kids canoe clinics, family programs (Daddy’s Daughter Dance, Mommy Son Adventure and Girls Night Out), youth programs, teen programs, aquatics, mantis skate park, partnership programs adult fitness and new programs. Lack of interest cancelled a few programs or weather reduced the number of participants.
Thus far there have been 16,947 participants served through activities in 2015.
During other business:
- Shaun Gardner, maintenance director, reported two-thirds of the Beyer Trail Boardwalk has been repaired. He stated smaller sections will be worked on each year. The boardwalk is 1,500 feet long between the fireman’s building and the hospital. This repair encompassed 1,000 feet.
- Michelle Boxell, board member and member of the Warsaw Kiwanis reported on the painting of the shelter at Kiwanis Park. She stated the club is still in discussion about hosting a fund raiser to purchase flowers and install a memorial garden.