Jun. 10—Logansport is moving forward with upgrading and adding to the parks in the city.
At the Wednesday night Logansport Parks and Recreation Board meeting, board members approved going ahead with Riverside Park improvements and heard from Mayor Chris Martin about a potential disc golf course and a plan for a Riverwalk feasibility study.
The board members are asking for contractor proposals for the July 14 meeting because of the rising cost of construction materials after the pandemic.
The Riverside project includes a fitness court, two basketball courts, two pickleball courts, restroom renovations and additional parking.
A $250,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will go towards the improvements.
Parks Administrator Jan Fawley said that she talked to the company that will be installing the fitness court, and delivery times will be tough, probably late "and expenses will probably be more than we like, too."
The work will happen between the Eel River Run Trail and west of the Dentzel Carousel pavilion.
By getting the bids for the construction work July 14, the board can decide if they need to make cuts, possibly not having both basketball or pickleball courts until later.
Board Member Mike McCord said that with contracts, the parks department could get labor costs set and hope the prices of materials go down.
The department should see how long the contractors will guarantee labor prices for, he said.
Mayor Martin spoke at the end of the meeting about the two projects his administration is looking at and about putting more focus on the two rivers — the Eel and the Wabash.
For the riverwalk, the city is looking at proposals for feasibility studies on two possible options.
The city would pay for the studies through County Economic Development Income Tax funds, and the Board of Works is expected to address the issue at its Wednesday meeting.
Martin said the emphasis would be on amenities and a potential river park, perhaps tying in with Riverside or Patriot Park.
The north bank of the Eel River will also be considered.
Fawley said that with the master plan for Riverside being updated, it would be good to work in conjunction on a riverwalk.
Board member Lynne Ness said, "That's the way to bring people to Logansport, through recreation."
For the disc golf, Martin is looking at the area around the former landfill, Ivy Tech and the Girl Scouts' woods.
The city has contacted the Girl Scouts about the project, Martin said.
The course will be similar to the one at France Park, including part of it in the woods.
Martin is looking into sponsorships for maintenance costs, but he doesn't believe maintenance will be much because disc golfers tend to take care of their courses and the woods won't need much work, he said.
Also at the meeting, the board members approved naming the old pavilion for the Dentzel Carousel after parks board member Mike McCord.
McCord abstained from the vote.
However, his family business, McCord's Do It Best, is providing materials and workers to fix the pavilion up.
Fawley said that the reason for the renaming is McCord's generous spirit and that he has been one of the most vocal about making improvements at Riverside.
McCord's hardware business has helped and donated to a number of projects.
"Every time somebody has a project or idea, you can go to Mike," she said. "I don't think he's ever turned us down."
Parks Board President Dave Smith said that when he was working with youth league baseball, "Mike was always willing to help us out."
McCord said that the reason his business has been able to do so much is because the community has supported the hardware store.
And the customers and employees also use the city parks.
"We have an obligation to give back," he said.
The pavilion had no official name before the board voted to make it McCord's Pavilion and has not held the carousel for about 30 years, Fawley said.
Board members also approved a resolution expanding the ability to serve alcohol in other parks besides Little Turtle Waterway and Heritage Park.
The resolution will allow Riverside, Spencer, Fairview and Houston parks and the Penman Service Center building.
The rules will be the same, including that any event with alcohol be a special event held by a community group and restricted to a designated area.
Fawley said that the reason for expanding the ability to other parks was the Melbourne Avenue Project, which is going beyond the two-year predicted timeline for the pipes installation for flood control.
Little Turtle has traditionally held community events such as Taste of Logansport.
"[It] identified a weakness that we can't always have everything downtown," Fawley said.
Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5117