A major concern of the Brazil Park and Recreation Board was safety due to speeding traffic on Craig Avenue just south of the walking track.
Board member John Tilley reported that two squirrels recently have been killed being hit by cars and he feared it could easily be a child if people don't drive sensibly. The board discussed the feasibility of trying to get speed bumps put in.
The board met Monday evening at City Hall. Election of officers for 2003 was conducted. The slate of officers chosen were: Ruthann Jeffries, president; Brad Deal, vice-president; John Tilley, treasurer and Caroline McCullough, secretary.
The budget was also a major issue. Tilley reported that they will not have a formal budget to work with for possibly several months. The board plans to deal with only emergency matters or problems costing less than $2,000 until an actual budget is received.
Tilley said the board's biggest need is money. The park could use some benefactors he said. Any donations of any size would greatly be appreciated.
Old business reviewed included spending priorities for 2003. The board voted to order 10 new 10 foot picnic tables at $150 a piece from Don Bullerdick and to order shelter plaques in memory of Nick Miller and Clay and Hazel Stearley from Charlie Lucas.
The merry-go-round repair has not been started due to weather conditions but will be done. Installation of a new fence at the south end of the park has been completed except for the gate.
The two big bridges are finished. Work on the two smaller ones will start soon. It was reported that contractor Rick Livingston suggested the bridges not be painted for at least a year so the timber can dry properly.
First new business was contracts for 2003. Some changes were made at the request of the YMCA and Clay Youth League. The YMCA CEO Nancy Berkheiser questioned why they were given only one year contracts when much of the improvements and maintenance required of them was so costly.
Burkheiser gave a hypothetical example of having to install an expensive drainage system with no guarantee that they would have use of the facilities after one year. Clay Youth League board member and attorney Joe Trout thought having the right to first refusal would better benefit the organizations.
The Park Board said they had no problems with a multi-year contract but needed time to take the matter under advisement. Clay Youth League president Rick Jeffries signed the annual contract. Burkheiser and YMCA vice president Mike Montague requested time for their board to review the revised contract before signing. The Park Board agreed.
Mowing contracts were discussed. The board approved mowing Forest Park, Craig and Babe Wheeler Parks 22 times each during 2003 but no more than one time per week. Mowing is to be done Wednesday, Thursday or Friday if weather permits. Cuttings are not to be blown into flower gardens, pool or pool area. Bidders will include a list of the equipment that they would use to fulfill the terms of the contract.
Bids are to be turned in to Mayor Crabb's office in City Hall not later than noon on Jan. 21. Bidders may be interviewed by the Park Board in an effort to ensure that the best bidder is selected. The successful bidder may not be the lowest bidder. Any interviewing will be done from Jan. 22-31. The Park Board will identify the successful bidder at its meeting on Feb. 3 following the official opening of the bids. That meeting will take place in the City Council Chamber at 7 p.m.
Vandalism in the park was brought up. Tilley said much of the destructive behavior occurs during the day and requested anyone witnessing such an event to please report it to the police immediately.