Updated: April 22, 2014 6:45AM
VALPARAISO — The city parks are starting a pilot recycling program this summer and accepting $30,000 from the Pepsi Beverages Co. over six years to use only Pepsi products.
The recycling program will be less than parks staff hoped for, but the Pepsi deal is worth more than the new scoreboards they hoped for.
The Valparaiso Park Board passed both measures at Tuesday’s meeting.
The parks department can spend the Pepsi money — a $5,000 payment each year for six years — only on things related to adult sports.
Adult Recreation Director Dan Lukes said he originally approached Pepsi about replacing the two eastern scoreboards at Old Fairgrounds Park, which are 25 years old.
Lukes can’t get parts for them, so he asked for $6,000 to replace them and put Pepsi’s logo on them. He said he wasn’t expecting the counteroffer or that Pepsi would tell Valparaiso it didn’t need to put the logo on the scoreboards and could sell scoreboard space to other sponsors.
In exchange, Pepsi will have “pouring rights” at Old Fairgrounds, the golf courses and anywhere the parks department or its vendors sell beverages.
The parks department also must buy 6,850 cases of beverages over the six-year period.
Lukes said that based on last year’s sales, the parks can easily meet that, and Pepsi said if they don’t, the company will just extend the time allotted to reach that level.
Park Business Operations Director Steve Antonetti said that the parks would be more likely to meet the goal because of an increase in adult sports enrollments.
The money would be used to replace scoreboards, including a 25-year-old soccer scoreboard, and update lighting in the concessions stand and bathrooms.
For the recycling program, the board agreed to spend $21,069 to get 100 blue 25-gallon tote bins marked for recycling.
The department originally hoped to get recycling and garbage totes for all the parks and a special truck to pick them up, but they couldn’t find a grant to help with the $97,000 cost.
Parks Director John Seibert said they hope to save money from their trash hauler with the recycling being picked up by the city.
The board will receive a report on it at the end of summer.