After approving a number of outstanding bills and the Jury Park bond payment at its meeting Sept. 8, the New Haven Adams Township Parks & Recreation Board moved on to three topics of discussion.

First on the agenda was the Koehlinger-Yoder Park Property, which stretches from Green Road to Minnich Road along Moeller Road. A property owner whose lot borders the park has asked permission to construct a fence for the protection of their children that would be on park property. A shed already sits on park land, and the family mows the grass around it.

Superintendent Mike Clendenen offered some options for the board to consider. One would be a friendly hand-shake agreement that would involve them continuing to maintain that small section as they have been doing. Another would be to lease it for a specified period of time, and the third would be to sell it to them. He pointed out that selling means hiring an appraisal that would cost around $1,000. Attorney Steve Harants is going to look into the options and present them to the board at its October meeting.

In addition, there is some discrepancy as to whether the parks department or the city of New Haven actually owns the park property. The issue goes back to when the city asked the parks department for the right-of-way to construct the Moeller Road extension between Green and Minnich roads in 1998. The deed was to have been returned when the road was completed.

Because it apparently has been in limbo for the past couple of decades, attorney Harants has been asked to clear up the matter and get the property back in the hands of the parks department.

On the matter of the Jury Park pool slides and tipping bucket renovation, Clendenen said the work was originally scheduled to be done after the 2021 season. Since the pool was closed this summer because of COVID-19 the slides and the tipping bucket were carefully inspected and found to need caulking, cleaning, painting and resurfacing because of damage caused by the sun’s intense UV rays.

“We have nearly 200 feet of slides that will cost between $800 and $1,000 a foot to replace,” Clendenen said. “We have money in the budget to take care of it, but it has not been appropriated for that project. Two companies have been contacted to prepare quotes to do the work. We should have those by the October meeting when we can decide whether or not to proceed with the renovation.”

“Because the pool was shut down during the pandemic, we were able to do some of the maintenance with our own people, and in the process save between $30,000 and $35,000. The better we maintain the pool, the longer it will last,” he added.

New Haven Fitness Center members are beginning to return, hours have been expanded and more classes are being considered, Clendenen said. The number of participants involved in any one session is limited to 25, per the governor’s restrictions, Clendenen said.

“The senior morning fitness class is doing well, but because of the virus, we’ve hesitated to increase senior activities,” he said. “There’s a core group who come regularly for cards and dominos, and we thoroughly disinfect when they leave.”

While the popular Senior Christmas party is still planned, it may result in two sessions of 60 participants each rather than 120 all together.

“Because of the growing interest in the Fitness Center we’re thinking that it needs a full-time director,” Clendenen said.

He suggested the idea be discussed at a future meeting.

The Jury Park pickleball, basketball and tennis courts will be ready for play by the end of September. Security cameras will be installed.

“This has been a challenging summer,” Clendenen said. “It was hot and dry, which meant much less mowing and more time to spend on other projects. I think it’s amazing what we were able to accomplish under the circumstances.”

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