WARSAW — At the Warsaw Parks & Recreation Board meeting held Tuesday, Nov. 20, Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer asked board members to give input regarding which items on the Central Park Master Plan they deem most important.
Warsaw Parks Board President Steve Haines immediately stated that renovation of the Center Lake Pavilion to include office space for the Warsaw Parks & Recreation Department should be the number one priority. The parks department will soon be required to move from their current office location due to the Buffalo Street project and development.
“I thought the same thing, they’ve got to have an office,” Board Member Bill Baldwin agreed.
“How soon do you need to be out of the current location?” Board Member Michelle Boxell inquired.
“I’ve heard anywhere from three months to a year and a half,” Plummer replied, adding that, if necessary, the parks department could temporarily operate out of the Pete Thorn building on Park Avenue.
Haines said the number two priority on his list was the purchase of the gas station property on Detroit Street, with other board members immediately agreeing.
“It’s been an eyesore for really quite a long time,” said Warsaw Parks Vice-President Larry Ladd. “If the city can purchase that, it not only eliminates that eyesore, but I think it moves plans ahead for the next step, the deceleration lane and getting into that nice entranceway there and makes room for possibly a greenhouse and visitor center.”
Plummer informed board members that the next step in renovating the pavilion would be approving a schematic design.
“We’ve talked with Design Collaborative,” said Plummer. “What that is, they would go in and draw everything and make sure everything works and it’ll get you a pretty exact, not to the penny by no means, but within a few thousand dollars, of where we’re going to be for that project.”
“It’s roughly $15,000 to do the schematic design, which is part of the process we’re going to have to do anyway to move forward with that,” Plummer stated.
A motion was passed to allow Design Collaborative, Fort Wayne, to perform the schematic drawings.
A lease agreement was renewed between Warsaw Board of Parks & Recreation and Kosciusko County Council on Aging & Aged. David Neff, executive director of Kosciusko Community Senior Services, spoke at the meeting.
“Our three main programs are transportation, home-delivered meals and the activity center. We take senior citizens to medical appointments. Last year alone we gave about 15,000 rides,” said Neff.
“I know fully well that the rent we pay is a bargain’s bargain I appreciate that,” Neff continued. “I want you to know that in the last four years, we’ve come a long way.”
Plummer recommended that the lease be renewed at the same rate it has been the last several years.
“I think they’re doing great things,” said Plummer. “Dave is providing a service for the community.”
Board members approved the renewal of the lease at the same rate.
The parks department plans to have the concession stand in Central Park open Friday, Saturday and Sunday this year as opposed to all week long. The parks board is also checking into the possibility of having Rise & Roll doughnuts available at the park concession stand this year. Popcorn, hot chocolate and cookies will be available for visitors to enjoy as they stroll through the Central Park Christmas light display. Kosciusko Community Foundation will be purchasing the first $500 worth of hot chocolate to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Stickers will be placed on cups and every cup with a sticker on it will be free.
Due to a donation by Carl and Laura Sowers, Herman’s Christmas Land, Pierceton, and Drew Knisley, Goshen, a new 20-foot pixel tree has been added to the Central Park Christmas display. Due to Christmas sponsors Wyndham Garden Hotels, Dennis Polk Equipment, Maple Leaf Farms and proceeds from last year’s concession stand, the parks department is purchasing two figurine arches to add to the display as well.
- Informational signs will soon be installed at Center Lake, Pike Lake, Glover Pavilion and the campground area regarding the iStrike Lightning Detection System that was recently placed at those locations.
- The parks department has received the playground equipment that was recently purchased for Kelly Park.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18.