By Stacy Finley
Park Updates and Events January has been a topsy turvy month for my departments! Illness has struck much of the City Staff and other community members. The civic center restroom renovations have also been in full swing, so most days it is best for me to work from home where there is some quiet, not to mention a working restroom! Luckily, this time of year, when landscape/pool/outdoor projects are at a halt, I am putting in most of my hours at the computer anyway.
Much of this month has been spent on preparation for the 2022 Farmers Market Season. This is the earliest we’ve ever held our Vendor Open House (January 29th) and I’m already fielding a ton of calls & emails from potential new vendors. It is always exciting to see what new faces and products come along season to season.
The open house event is an informational meeting where we cover everything that new vendors need to know about joining us, as well as update returning vendors on any changes to expect in the new season. We also begin accepting registrations so that there is time to jury products & coordinate booth spaces for each vendor before April rolls around.
The Martin Luther King Day event at MLK Park was another highlight of January that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was wonderful to see so many community members and leaders attend to hear more of the history surrounding MLK Park and the HYPE organization who are doing awesome things & planning for even more.
Before the event was held, our Public Works crew did a fantastic job of cleaning up the park & using materials purchased by the Parks Department to completely restore the wooden picnic tables there, as well as ones at Rotary Park and the City Pool.
Another ‘thanks’ goes to the Public Works crew for assembling new pool loungers that arrived this month. As discussed during budget workshops, the old ones were absolutely disintegrating and I ordered new ones made of composite which will stand up to the elements for many more years than thin plastic.
Tile work has now been completed in the civic center restrooms, so plumbers and painters are busy this week.
The new toilet partitions and electrical work will wrap up all but the finishing touches next week.
Any remodel with such a short time window is grueling, and the ‘unexpecteds’ always come along and know you off schedule a bit. Fortunately, we are on track to finish before the next event and I just can’t wait for everyone to see the finished product! Board Business: With so much illness going around, we decided to forgo both Parks and WFM Board meetings this month. The Parks members will meet again in February to consider a new member and discuss other upcoming items. The WFM members have been working hard to finalize details for the 2022 season and will most likely meet at least once more before it arrives.