Park security lighting OK’d

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s Parks and Recreation Board Wednesday night approved the installation of a new security lighting system for several city parks.

City Council accepted a recommendation Tuesday night from City Manager Cathy Davison to award the base lighting bid for Belleview Park to the John Russell Co.

And, at its monthly meeting, the recreation board agreed to spend additional money from the city’s recreation fund to have security lighting installed at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center exterior area, the MLK Center exterior basketball courts, Rotary Park on Pleasant Heights and the North End Park.

The total project will cost $274,231 and is expected to be completed by August.

Davison told the board the recreation funds will be repaid when the city receives its federal Community Development Block Grant funds in October.

Davison also reported the city grant application to the Ohio Department of Education for the annual summer food program has been approved and 10 summer food sites will be operated by the Sodexho Co.

“They will provide the food and hire the summer food site staff. An 11th site will be operated at Rotary Park by the First Baptist Church of Steubenville. They will also provide activities in addition to the food program at that site,” explained Davison.

Davison told board members the city finance office is analyzing the cost of opening the Belleview Park concession stand.

“We anticipate charging a fee for the concession stand and it will be available to Steubenville Little League as well as the several softball leagues,” noted Davison.

Rich Blackburn of Steubenville Little League said he will have to discuss the issues with other Little League officials.

“We may decide to just sell chips and canned pop from our own stand,” said Blackburn.

“We are looking at trying to obtain revenue for the city. If you aren’t willing to abide by the concession stand fees then I guess you will be selling pop and chips. But we can’t continue operating the way we have,” replied Sandi Rue, recreation board chairperson.

Davison said she is hoping to have information about the concession stand fees by Friday.

Councilman at large Kenny Davis reported the support for the Save Our Pool campaign is growing.

“We have a new car and now we need to sell 5,000 tickets. We have been approved for up to $20,000 in matching grant funds and two local nonprofit groups have applied for additional grants. This is all positive. We are now accepting applications for lifeguards and cashiers through the MLK Center. The washing and painting of the pool is set to happen during the next several days. Our goal is to open the Belleview Pool by June 1,” Davis said.

“The Save Our Pool committee won’t stop after the pool is open. We will be meeting on a year round basis to build up the pool operating fund and hopefully establish a trust for the future of the pool,” added Davis.

In other business the board discussed, but took no action, on charging persons 18 and older for using the MLK Center basketball court.

“A lot of recreation centers charge for using their basketball courts. I think charging $2 a person to use the court is a reasonable fee. We would only charge the people who are 18 years old or older,” commented Rue.

The board approved several facility requests including:

The AIM Women’s Center request for Jim Wood Park on Sept. 21 for a walk and run for life;

Linda Nocera of East Garfield Elementary School for kindergarten pupils for a field day on May 22 at the Belleview Park play lot;

Bishop John King Mussio Junior High School pupils for a school picnic on May 28 at the Belleview Park shelter and lower fields; and,

B.A.S.I.C. Circle for the African-American Heritage Festival on Aug. 4, 5 and 6 at the North End field.

The board tabled a request from the Ministry of Salvation Baptist Church to host summer fun meals for youth at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center from June through August until Davison can discuss the details of the program with the church.