PRINCETON — Concrete and weeds.
Princeton Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Brent Denbo said Monday there's going to be a lot of concrete work coming to city facilities — and he's looking for some help to pull a lot of weeds this summer.
At Monday's Princeton Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Denbo said he wants to pour 4x6 feet concrete pads under 14 picnic tables and 12 benches at Lafayette Park. There's also concrete work planned for the entrance into the Lafayette Park tennis court entrance, and concrete pads planned for Southside Park's new disc golf course, as well as a concrete pad with a drain for the drinking fountain at Lafayette Park's basketball court. A concrete sidewalk for the entrance to the new parking lot near the pool is also planned. The city is converting one of the tennis courts to parking.
Denbo reported that the route for new walking trails at Southside Park has been laid and weed killer applied. Once the grass dies, crews will scrape and add the wood chips stockpiled at the park from the city's tree trimming/cutting campaign this year.
He said he expects the walking paths at Southside to be done by May 25. While the wood chips have prompted calls to some city council members, who made note of the calls last week, Denbo said stockpiling the chips will save the city money in buying mulch. Denbo admitted to parks board members that he didn't think it would take as long as it has to get the trails done, but the trails couldn't be marked until the ground dried up some. "People should see some changes within the next two weeks," he said.
The chips on hand will cover about 1.5 miles of park trails, and Denbo said he will be able to get more chips from GE Tree Service if more chips are needed. The trail mulch will likely need to be replaced every two or three years.
Thus far, the city has trimmed or removed about 100 trees in parks and public right-of-way. Denbo said 77 trees were planted at city parks to replace some of the dead or diseased trees that were cut down.
Keeping up with all the Stellar Communities streetscapes downtown and landscaping in parks is a major project, Denbo said. He's looking for volunteer help to keep up with weeding chores. Parks board member Tracey Wilkerson said he would contact his church to assemble a team of volunteers.
Denbo said he will take any help he can get. "I dream about weeds. I'm not kidding!"
In other business:
• Denbo reported that striping for the parking area near the lake at Lafayette Park will be started May 17. He said he hopes to get some diagonal parking to organize how park patrons park near the lake.
• He said Princeton Community High School's technology class built a three-section bridge for the ditch at Southside Park and it's on location, but needs to be installed. When it's in place, the bridge will tie in the walking trails and the disc golf course.
• Disc golf poles at Southside Park are set in concrete and baskets are going in this week. InTex Signs is creating signs for the course. Denbo said the new sign at Deda Young Kiddie Park is also installed. Parks board members asked about the new fence that replaces a chain link fence on the property, expressing some concern about whether it meets safety standards. Denbo said the fencing is modeled off a park in Washington, but he will check on safety codes.
• Denbo reported the Chestnut Building property is seeded, rip-rapped, with concrete pads poured, a bathroom installed, gravel laid and the facility's ready for farmers market use. The $20,000 expense was mainly paid from the city's Economic Development Income Tax budget for landscaping and lighting, he said.
• Some 105 families have paid registration fees and turned in enrollment packets for Summer Explosion summer camp at Lafayette Park's lodge, and staffing is complete for the program, Denbo reported. He said a golf cart previously used by pool staff has been given to the Summer Explosion staff or transporting items. Children of proper age who are using seatbelts can be transported if needed, he said.
Summer Explosion staff inquired about the pay scale for summer employees. Denbo said that's an issue to address at budget time this summer. The program is supported by the $75 weekly tuition per child enrolled.
• Members also discussed possibly moving some of the large planters in front of the Princeton Theatre and Community Center to another location, such as Lafayette Park.
• Denbo said the water fountains at the pocket parks and roundabout will be activated when the contractor arrives to install the motors. He said he's made contact with them to get it done soon.
• Responding to questions about missing swings at the parks, Denbo said a new face to face parent-child swing will be installed at each park, and then the remaining swings will be reinstalled.