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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Skate Park In Need Of More Repairs

Issue Date: May 5, 2022

There was a lot to discuss at the City of Peshtigo Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 3, starting with possible skate park repairs.

Mary Lock questioned what the plan is for taking care of the skate park. Lock said, "It has holes in and repairs are needed before someone gets hurt and would like to know that it is being taken car of".

City of Peshtigo Directer of Parks and Recreation, Lori Tonn added, "I don't have it on my immediate list, but I did look at it and it does need repairs. Previous Parks and Rec Director Shawn Northrup was going to get planking and fix it but it never came to fruition". Tonn added that she would talk to Northrup to see where he left off with it. Mayor Cathi Malke questioned if they should lock it and put a sign up saying closed for repairs. Tonn agreed that would be a good idea and she will talk with Northrup for more information.

Going through the Parks and Rec budget, Alderperson Brigitte Schmidt questioned some of the expenses and revenues. Committee Member Debbie Sievert replied, "This year will tell a better story of what we are doing. With Covid it didn't show good numbers in the budget and reporting will look much better going forward". The report that Clerk Tammy Kasal provided was a little challenging and the committee members want a better reflection of revenue versus expenses for a better picture of the budget.

Being close to their goal of raising money to build a new Badger Park playscape, they can now discuss what the plan is to remove the existing old equipment and how to get rid of the old salvageable pieces. Several comments were made such as: Can we have an auction of the old playscape equipment? Do we draw from a hat for those that are interested in the old pieces? If we sell to individuals is there any liability issues? Can we ask the Moms Group to organize an auction of some sort for the equipment pieces?

Schmidt replied, "I will work with Tonn and will look for a plan of deconstruction". Schmidt will address all the committees concerns and questions.

In a motion, Mayor Malke gave authority to Schmidt and Tonn to pick out the equipment that could be salvaged and saved for either auction or drawings; to keep the committee updated with the authority to move forward with the project and make decisions as necessary as to who is taking down the equipment, how it is being taken down and to keep the project moving forward for dismantling and redistribution. Also to check with insurance for any liabilities, if any, once the equipment is redistributed.

The Softball field project was another item for discussion with Wednesday, May 4 being the last day to accept bids for the bathrooms, overhang, electrical and plumbing at the fields. Malke added, "I am working on a T Mobile Grant to finish off the concessions area".

Schmidt announced that the new dock is out by the small pavilion now and the old dock can be put up for sale or repurposed in another area. Malke added, "I think we should save it and use it for the campers. We should consider the area to put it, and it will be good for fishing off of". Schmidt added that she had gotten a comment from a fisherman as to how busy the lower boat launch is and Malke added that she has already started looking for grants to at least double the size that is down there now.

The Badger Park Campground bathrooms are another area that needs attention. There has been some work done since the last meeting, but it cannot go any further until there is weather of three days or more of 40 to 50 degree temperatures.

It was also mentioned the bathrooms by the beach are in need of repair which will entail a good cleaning and a complete redo with new sinks and toilets. Tonn mentioned that the labor can be done by the Parks and City crew and we won't have to hire out. Mayor Malke added that she will talk to Ice Blast to see if they can sandblast the paint off, however, the park/campground bathrooms need to be completed first.

Tonn updated the committee that the water was turned on to the campground area and there was one small leak that has already been fixed and the electrical seems to be working as it should, but won't know for sure if any repairs are needed until camping season is in full swing. The fish cleaning station was a big hit. The fishermen loved them and they are taking care of it by emptying daily and there have been no issues. The fishermen are very appreciative of having the station available to them.

Tonn also stated the weed harvester is on hold at present. Chuck Druckrey, Marinette County Water Resource Specialist is pursuing more information and a possible grant. Mayor asked if a survey was done in town for harvesting. Tonn replied that she didn't yet and Malke replied that she will help Tonn with that and "I think we should also keep the old harvester even if we get a different one" Malke added.

Tonn also gave an update on the camping weekend being held Friday, June 10, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 for Veterans and First Responders. There are only six sites left. There will be music, the Lions Club will be cooking for the event and there have been several donations that came in, including a donation from Stephenson National Bank of Marinette. Also mentioned was every Tuesday, Bingo at the Outback on Old Peshtigo Road. Bingo is played and all of the money raised is donated to the Veterans. The public is encouraged to join in the fun, take a chance of winning at Bingo and help support the veterans. Bingo at the Outback is held every Tuesday starting at 2 p.m.

Tonn announced that Parks and Rec has been awarded the AARP WI Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant in the amount of $1,000. This grant will be used to purchase materials such as exercise balls, drumsticks and laundry baskets for 20 participants for a new park program of Cardio Drumming for Exercise. This will provide fun and a healthy form of cardio workout. Each drumming class will be designed to a specific age group using music, rhythm techniques and various levels of drumming. The grant will enable the department to purchase all the necessary equipment that will be used several times a week, year round for an exercise program. The program can be geared toward five year olds to 95 year olds, can be held indoors, outdoors, on the beach or in the park to any genre of music. A 70 year old grandparent can do this exercise next to their grandchild if they choose. The plan is to start offering this class in June.

In other matters, Tonn announced she has had several requests from residents for naming rights of the ball parks throughout the City. "There are so many people that put their heart and soul into the ball parks and it would be a great gesture to show appreciation for those people". Schmidt added, "We put out for nominations before. There are very many ways to go about this and it is a huge process. We had a lot of meetings and we would need an ongoing fund to keep up the fields. This involves a lot of conversations and discussions and it should be listed on the next Parks and Rec agenda for further discussion".

Tonn also stated the department is struggling with getting the campground raked and cleaned up and asked for suggestions. Schmidt asked if she had contacted any of the Churches, they are always looking for community projects such as that. St. Mary's is taking over the upkeep of River Park. Tonn said she will contact the area Churches for their assistance.

The meeting ended with a brief discussion of the progress of the Badger Park Playscape. Malke asked, "How close is the committee to obtaining the funds for the new playground?" Tonn answered, All equipment is in stock in town, the equipment is all paid for and there is just a small amount left to be covered for the pour and play pad for the equipment, and they are confident that goal will be met. Malke added, "That group has done a tremendous amount of work on this and I am so proud of those girls. They worked sun up to sun down and they were all over the place. I can't say enough about these gals and what they are doing for our community".


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