MOUNT VERNON — Even though it was snowing outside Friday, Mount Vernon officials are thinking spring.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said he met with Parks Director Geoff Oliver and management officials from the Hiawatha Water Park/Pool this week to discuss plans and changes for the 2010 season.
There are two projects the group decided to work on during the winter. The first, Mavis said, is improvements to the baby pool.
“We wanted to add something more exciting. We found out, unless it’s real crowded, no one goes in there,” Mavis said.
Turning the area into a splash pad was discussed previously, but officials decided on a different route. They will add an animal slide and two water spouts to the baby pool area this spring prior to the pool opening.
Also on the agenda is basketball courts. Mavis said they decided to fence in part of the basketball court so it is inside the pool complex. Crews will reseal the asphalt, put up new rims and backboards, and have full-court and half-court basketball available inside the fence. Mavis said there were a lot of youths who would check out of the pool area and play basketball, then come back to the pool. This will allow them to play basketball without leaving the complex.
There will still be two half-court basketball courts and the sand volleyball court available for residents to play on without paying to enter the pool complex. The changes will result in tennis being unavailable at the park, but Mavis said there is still plenty of tennis courts in the city available for play.
In other news:
•Mavis said the city is in the middle of handing out the awards in the National Walk to School Day contest. Students at Dan Emmett, Pleasant Street and East elementaries, as well as Mount Vernon Middle School, were asked to fill out a survey when they participated in National Walk to School Day. A winner from each school will be chosen and students have their choice of a bicycle, iPod or Nintendo DSi. Mavis said the survey will help the city with its Safe Walk to School coalition. Schools also received pedometers to use in physical education classes or other walking events.
•City officials are to have a conference call with the Department of Development to discuss the city’s application for Clean Ohio Assistance Funds for the cleanup of the old American National Can property. The city will receive word if its project is chosen sometime in January or February. The assessment part of the project would then take about 10 months. That will determine what needs to be accomplished in the cleanup and how much it will cost.
•Mavis said he’s received surveys from all eight solid waste haulers in the city. The surveys asked four questions, including the percentage of customers who recycle and how charges for the recycling are compiled. The survey was needed because of possible changes in the licensing process for solid waste haulers in the state.
•Mavis said he’s still receiving responses on the Coshocton Avenue improvement and safety projects. Many of those responses include the desire to keep the stop light at Coshocton Avenue and Highland Drive. Those responses are being sent to the Ohio Department of Transportation.
•Several projectss are in the final stages around the city. The leaf pickup program is completed and trucks are being readied for winter plowing and salt spreading on the city streets; most of the city’s holiday decorations are up and ready for this weekend’s Christmas Parade and Walk; and the McKenzie and McArthur streets projects are nearing completion.
•The city recently replaced the warning siren at the Elmwood Fire Station. Part of the money for the solar-powered siren came from a FEMA grant.