Parks and rec members discuss 2021 goals and objectives

BURTON — The parks and recreation commission is looking for help from volunteers with some needed repairs and improvements at the city’s parks.

Jeremy Scharrer, president of the parks and recreation commission, said at the June 9 commission meeting, a recent visit the Fire Station No. 2 park at Belsay and Lapeer roads showed the place is going to require some much-needed elbow-grease for a facelift in the near future.

“It was painted a couple years ago but walking through it yesterday…a lot of painting that was done in recent years is gone. Anything red is now pink. So, the nice jungle gym firetruck is now pink and it’s chipping again, so it’s in need of some work again,” said Scharrer. “The woodchips in there…I was told the (Burton) Rotary put seven yards of woodchips and you’d never even guess because they barely even touched the surface.”

He said he would be speaking with Amber Abbey, deputy director of the Department of Public Works, to see what the regulations are for replacing the woodchips to find out if they can dig the old mulch out and replace it with new.

Probably one of the most popular parks for kids to play in for the city, Scharrer said the equipment at Fire Station No. 2 park is good, but the it’s the ground portion that isn’t.

“I want to make sure we’re doing it correctly,” he said. “I think the depth is about 10-12 inches of woodchips. Wish I knew what it looked like when it went in. But it needs some TLC.”

Some spots in the park need cleaned up, such as trees and lawn care, which is an issue he said the commission can address at a later date.

Scharrer said the pavilion at the park is in good shape, but some of the painted colors have faded, particularly the red. The reduced appearance of the woodchips is likely due to use, he said.

He said he and other commission members will be walking through Settlement Park on Atherton Road next to see what is needed there.

At Kelly Lake, Commissioner Jim Craig said an Eagle Scout is interested in staining the table, benches, and bike rack as part of his scouting project. Craig said more details were to follow.

Commission members suggested seeking more teenage volunteers for Fire Station No. 2 work or obtaining the help of inmates from the jail who are doing community service.

Scharrer said plans for the fence replacement around Fire Station No. 1’s park are moving ahead and he expected the project to be bid soon. City officials at the council’s June 7 meeting could not give a date, but said plans for the fence, to be paid with mostly from unused event money leftover from 2020, would likely go ahead later this summer.

Scharrer brought up the topic of fundraising and of adding new events to the city’s list of long-established events such as the Memorial Day Parade, Easter Egg Hunt and Trick or Treat Trail (taking place Oct. 23 this year).

“We are in the habit of doing the same events every year,” he said. “If we’re ever going to branch away from just doing those events, we need to start adding new events or doing more in the community. If we develop Settlement Park, or Fire Station 1 or 2, we’re going to need to raise money. We’re going to have to have funds.”

Commissioner Kevin Burge asked if people would question why taxpayer money isn’t enough to maintain the parks.

Scharrer said fundraising would be for those things needed that are “above and beyond” things covered under the budget, which is generally just basic maintenance.