By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — The Warsaw Parks and Recreation Department received 430 responses to the public survey asking for input regarding park facilities, programs and activities.
Deb Schmucker, president and CEO of Cornerstone Planning Design Solutions, announced at the parks board meeting Tuesday, June 15, that the comments were overwhelmingly positive regarding the parks department and the park system.
In one area of the survey, participants were asked to rate Warsaw Park Administration services, which included office staff availability, courtesy of office staff, knowledge of office staff, response time, helpfulness of information/instructions and appropriate followup and/or remedy. All sections received a score of 93.20% or above in the “good” category.
Another question on the survey was “How do you feel about adding the following facilities in the city park system?”
The choices included cornhole boards, a greenhouse education center, outdoor exercise equipment, additional pickleball courts, kayak rentals and paddleboard rentals.
More than 92 percent of those participating in the survey said yes to kayak rentals and just over 89 percent like the idea of paddleboard rentals. Warsaw Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer announced last month that the parks department has been awarded a grant through KCCRVC to be used for kayak kiosks at Center Lake and Pike Lake.
The kiosks will be placed in well-lit locations and monitored by cameras.
Another survey question asked how people are kept informed of parks and recreation activities and programs, with InkFreeNews, word of mouth and the Warsaw Parks Department website and Facebook page being the top sources.
“InkFreeNews by far and away was the main one,” Schmucker said.
Warsaw Parks Recreation Director Sheila Wieringa said the parks department has heard from people saying they were not aware of events going on in the past couple of weeks.
This information can be found multiple places, Wieringa said, including InkFreeNews, the city website, the parks department Facebook and Instagram, local radio stations, the digital recreation guide and the marquee at Central Park. You can also sign up on the park’s website to receive the email newsletter.
In another matter, budget funds were reviewed and approved at the meeting.
Warsaw Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer provided board members with documents showing a breakdown of proposed programs and events for 2022.
The proposed 2022 operating budget 204 shows a total of $2,910,700, a 13 percent increase from the 2021 budget.
Reasons for the increase were listed as paving Pike Lake parking lot at a cost of $100,000, payment for the new office/garage at $100,000, relocation of the skate park at $92,000 and personal services at $109,000.
The proposed 211 non-reverting recreation budget for 2022 shows a total of $20,350, which is an 11 percent increase over the 2021 budget. This was attributed to supply costs.
In other news:
- Construction of both playgrounds has been completed at Ker Park.
- The next regular meeting will be 5:15 p.m. July 20.