January 2024 Parks Board Meeting Report

The Logansport Parks & Recreation Board met at its regular meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. Dave Smith, Ammon Tuitavuki, and Mike McCord were present in person. Sam Tocco and Jason Crittendon were present via phone.

First order of business was to select officers for 2024. The following were re-elected to offices: Dave Smith, President, Jason Crittendon, Vice President, and Ammon Tuitavuki, Secretary.

Then committee assignments were selected as follows:
Finance: Mike McCord and Dave Smith
Golf: Same Tocco and Dave Smith
Park Development: Ammon Tuitavuki and Jason Crittendon
Personnel: Dave Smith and Jason Crittendon
Aquatics: Same Tocco and Mike McCord
Christmas in the Park: Mike McCord and Dave Smith
Spencer Park Lower Pavilion: Mike McCord and Dave Smith

Old Business included a discussion about the Spencer Park Lower Shelter. Jeremy Duff, the current contractor for the shelter, of KJG Architecture, presented the final costs on the work to be done. The total cost of the stabilization project is now $160,000. He stated that this work would stabilize the structure for 20-30 years. Duff indicated that the work can begin in February, with a target date for completion of May. Regarding the cost, the first $100,000 was appropriated in 2023, and the additional $60,000 is available from an appropriated CEDIT fund for 2024, so the funding required is available. All board members voted to move forward with the work. A new contract will be approved by the City’s Board of Works.

Board members have asked that people be reassured that the Parks Board NEVER discussed the demolition of the Spencer Park Lower Shelter, and that its current closure has ALWAYS been about public safety.

New Business included discussion about organizations receiving free use of facilities in the Logansport Parks. The Parks Administrator presented a new policy and form for discussion. Requirements would include 60-day notice to the Parks Board, proof of insurance coverage, pay a damage/cleaning deposit that would be returned if all was returned in good condition, organization be a 501c3 non-profit, and that the organization recognize the Logansport Parks as a sponsor of the event. After some discussion, the Board tabled the subject to further investigate the need for the proof of insurance.

Staff reports were then presented. Parks Administrator Janet Fawley reported the following:

  1. Christmas in the Park had a record of 6,801 vehicles go through.
  2. The Master Plan Youth Survey should be reviewed by all board members. Dave stated that something should be done to address the 60-70% of those surveyed who indicated they played video games in their rooms. Jan will send out a meeting call out to discuss this survey. Council members are also invited.
  3. End of Year Budget – We only spent $672 more than what we took in in the non-reverting operating fund.
  4. Due to a lack of reliable service, Parks will be switching from Pepsi to Coke products.

The Recreation Director Kara Yax reported the following:

  1. Breakfast with Santa was a successful event.
  2. The Gingerbread House Competition was not as well attended as hoped, but was enjoyed by those that participated. Probably will not hold this event again.
  3. Kara is currently working on getting July 4th vendors and musicians.

The Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Price reported the following:

  1. Christmas In the Park display was the best yet. LHS Career Center students were involved in creating displays for the event. CITP was dismantled in three days due to good weather. As this display grows, our storage options are becoming an issue.
  2. Upcoming improvement projects include electricity for Fairview pavilions, Fairview restroom update, Dykeman Pavilion update, Dykeman restroom, 3 new shelters at Spencer Park, lower Spencer shelter work, 1 new shelter at Bishop Park, basketball court rehab at Bishop Park, Penman Building roof and kitchenette, new Muehlhausen playground.
  3. Bark Park work continues. The fencing is down. The electricity is in place. The dugouts have been removed. The ADA ramp has been poured. Signage has been printed & received. Drinking fountains and shade sails have been delivered. Grass seed will be planted in January.
  4. New purchases include a new Gator, a new pickup truck and a new 1-ton pickup along with a pull- behind mower attachment for Huston Park mowing.
  5. A new Maintenance Assistant candidate has been chosen pending background check to replace Matt Franklin who has taken an open position at the Dykeman Park Golf Course.

The Golf Superintendent, Dean Vietti reported the following:

  1. 2023 was a great year for golf course. Weather cooperated. Numbers are up 27%.
  • Sold 2024 passes for 2023 prices which brought in approximately $50,000.
  • The assistance of Kyle Smith with social media advertising has made a big difference.

2. Jim Hiatt and George Elpers are now retired. Dean requested that John Clark now be the Assistant Superintendent and Matthew Franklin now be the Maintenance Assistant. Matt will transfer from the Parks Department. Mike McCord made a motion to approve the hiring of John Clark and Matthew Franklin, seconded by Ammon Tuitavuki. All present voted in favor and motion carried.

  1. A matching opportunity for $250,000 was offered by Petrie Endowment for the Clubhouse project. We currently have $100,000 which can be matched. Seventeen of the 18 tee box sponsorship signs have been purchased.
  2. 2024 will be busy season with new cart paths (fall) and maintenance barn extension.
  3. Dean will attend the Golf Course Superintendent’s Conference in Phoenix, Arizona in January. The budget was approved for this conference.

Board members thanked the Parks Department Staff for

  1. Hanging the art on the side of the Pear Tree Gallery wall.
  2. All their hard work in 2023.

President Dave Smith also thanked the Council Members for participating in the meeting.

Meeting adjourned with the next meeting to be held on February 14th at 5:30.

Questions may be directed to the Parks Office at 574-753-6969 or e-mail at parksinfo@cityoflogansport.org.

Logansport Re-Imagined