The park rangers are doing a great job. That was the consensus at Wednesday's City Park Board meeting.
"We've had a decrease in vandalism at area parks, especially at Forest Park," Park Superintendent Bill Houck said. "Not only has hiring park rangers made a difference, but we've had increased patrols by local police."
Patrols and drive-by's by local police have also helped decrease some of the juvenile gatherings outside the pool, and the underage smoking that was also a concern.
"Our pool managers have reported that they haven't had any more issues with young smokers or rowdy juveniles this week," Board president Ruthann Jeffries said. "They are very pleased to have things running smoothly."
Meanwhile, the board said it had purchased of a new pool cleaner and added that August swimming lesson sessions have been canceled.
"Many of our lifeguards are heading off to college, and just can't be there full-time in August," Jeffries said. "They've notified the parents who had registered for the (sessions), and the guards just plan to enjoy the rest of the summer season."
Houck reported the mini-shelter at Wheeler Park is finished, and they plan to coat the newly-converted basketball court with sealer. The court is located in what was formerly the tennis court area.
The carnival at Forest Park left the park clean, but full of ruts after the heavy rain the last two days of the event. Mike Knust brought in dirt to fill the ruts, and Houck doesn't expect any other problems of this nature.
Most of the non-permanent signs are down, and the park is exploring designs for the new "Forest Park" sign. It is the goal of the park to have a single sign that events can be advertised on. No other signs will be allowed, and this includes notices and flyers for upcoming events.
Rounding out the evening, the board voted to build a fence to house the dumpster at Forest Park and to schedule a date to assemble the new playground equipment.
"With the vandalism decreasing in the parks, we feel we can put up the new playground equipment without worrying too much about it getting destroyed," Jeffries said. "We will be inviting the public to bring their tools and help with this project."