Valpo parks see lower maintenance costs
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent September 25, 2012 9:20PM
Updated: October 27, 2012 6:15AM
VALPARAISO — The planned maintenance on parks this autumn is coming in lower than estimated in most cases.
Parks Director John Seibert explained at Tuesday’s Park Board meeting how the projects were going in the $250,000 budget from fall.
In August, the Department of Parks and Recreation spent $250,000 of impact fee money toward the Campbell Street pathway. The money can only be spent on new recreation areas, and the city gave the department an equivalent amount of money for maintenance on current parks.
The Kiwanis Field drainage issue will cost about $10,000, about half the $20,000 estimated, and Seibert said they’re looking at other ways to court costs to the parks department.
The concession stand column work at Old Fairgrounds Park will cost $10,000 instead of $20,000 if park maintenance works on it, and they can also replace the roof with a metal one within the $10,000.
A maintenance truck will cost $24,000 instead of $30,000.
The 200 East playground equipment will apparently come in below the $35,000 planned thanks to a grant, but it won’t get installed until spring.
The Westside Park lot paving will likely remain at $110,000, but that project hasn’t been finalized yet.
The only project cost that increased was repaving the parking lot at Tower Park on Evans Avenue. Because the lot needs to be two inches thick instead of one, the cost doubled to $30,000.
If costs remain under budget, the department will repair the now-closed Flounder Skate Park in Rogers-Lakewood Park at $20,000. The park was closed over the summer because of disrepair.
Also at the meeting, Seibert discussed why the parks department doesn’t have the ability to help with saving the old Grand Trunk Railroad depot, now owned by the Canadian National Railroad.
The railroad wants to demolish the depot, which is just west of Calumet Avenue, but is willing to sell the depot if there’s a plan by Oct. 16.
Seibert said the building is 5,000 square feet — the size of Butterfield Pavilion at Old Fairgrounds Park and three to four times the size of Discovery Cottage on Harrison Boulevard.
Christa Emerson also noted that the Oct. 16 deadline doesn’t leave much time for plans.
“I just don’t see us as the answer at the moment,” Seibert said.