STEUBENVILLE - The city parks and recreation board on Wednesday unanimously approved a vinyl fence to be installed around the western playground at Belleview Park and will ask City Council to adopt legislation in order to proceed with the fencing.
The board looked at three types of fencing before accepting Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall's recommendation.
"The preliminary estimate for the vinyl fence is $10,320 and 80 to 90 percent of that cost will come from the Jefferson County piggyback tax grant awarded to our recreation department. The Gil Thermes Fence Co. said they can have the fence completely installed within a couple days of final approval," explained Kirkendall.
NEW FENCING — The Steubenville Parks and Recreation Board agreed Wednesday night to have a vinyl fence installed around the western playground at Belleview Park. Examining the approved fence design were parks and recreation board Chairperson Sandi Rue and Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall. - Dave Gossett
Board member Jason Jenkins renewed his call for a fence to be installed along the top of the bluff at the park's western border.
"I pushed hard for a fence along that area, but City Engineer Mike Dolak has advised against it because of the fill that was originally placed there. Installing a fence there might be a major and expensive project," advised 2nd Ward Councilman Rick Perkins.
In other matters, Kirkendall asked board members to consider future projects, including the repair or dismantling of the Belleview swimming pool slide.
"A structural assessment was done on the water slide and it appears some significant work is needed to keep the slide in good operating condition. We need to look at installing water jets at the top of the slide to keep water from running down the external part of the slide and to have all the metal parts sand blasted and repainted," related Kirkendall.
He estimated repairs may cost as much as $75,000.
"I would recommend against repairing the slide. It was just repaired about five years ago. It is out of date. It was installed 15 to 20 years ago. I would dismantle it and wait for the future," said Councilman at large Kenny Davis.
Kirkendall reported the Belleview Pool has lost significant money during the past 10 years.
"As I said when I first came to this job, municipal pools don't make money unless they have all kinds of extra attractions. A pool is usually a service to the community. You usually don't make money on a pool. And I am asking the board to think about future plans for the pool," said Kirkendall.
"We lost money on our summer food program but we are taking steps to fix that for next year. We have a conference call next week that will include Sodexo, Finance Director Alyssa Kerker, City Manager Cathy Davison and myself," said Kirkendall.
He also asked the board to consider reducing lowering the financial assistance for usage fees from the 75 percent discount level to 66 percent.
"This is a great program and helps many people. Most of the 102 families assisted so far this year are at the full discount of 75 percent. We may need to consider dropping the assistance to 66 percent, which would yield us a return of an additional $3,356 based on the 2012 numbers," said Kirkendall.
The recreation director announced the Belleview Park field lights "are in bad shape."
"We had an initial estimate of $460,000 from Musco Lighting for the complete replacement of our lights with new poles and wiring. That is something we may want to look at doing in stages. And we may want to look for funding sources for the project," noted Kirkendall.
He asked the board to consider requests for package rental deals for the rental of the clubhouse and swimming pool and to allow people renting the clubhouse for an event to have the option of extra hours.
"We don't need to make a decision now, but I would ask the board members to think about these issues for discussion at the next board meeting," he said.
Kirkendall recommended a small building be installed at the Belleview ballfields for softball league use.
"Every year we end up with missing items out of the garage and equipment not returned properly. I proposed the key be changed for the garage and a small storage shed be added for the leagues to use and store their own equipment in," suggested Kirkendall.
The final parks and recreation board meeting was set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Belleview Clubhouse.