Park board assembles for April meeting

The Minot Park Board held its April meeting a bit short-handed Tuesday evening, with three of its five commissioners attending. High on the list was the pursuance of a new bandshell for Oak Park, using money received from a Coca-Cola Company grant, a Readers Digest award, and other sources. Currently the proposed shell is in the siting and design stages. Maysa Arena manager Chuck Emery had an objection to the shell, which he shared with the board.

“I think a three-season shelter is a much better use of this money,” Emery argued. He felt the specialized utility of a bandshell would get limited use for its proposed cost, which he likened to constructing a nice, large house. Opining that more people would be able to get better use from a simpler structure, he urged the board to consider at least exploring some alternatives.

When asked if the proposed shell might possibly be rented out for public use, board clerk Cindy Thomas responded, “For weddings. Rarely.”

With the absence of commissioners Connie Feist and John Drady, discussion on the bandshell was limited. A final decision has been tabled for a future meeting.

There was one personal appearance, by Michelle Weishaar of MLT Vacations, requesting private use of the Roosevelt Park Zoo facilities for the company’s annual summertime event. Tentatively set for June 13, she requested the board grant several family zoo passes as door prizes and assistance with garbage cans, tables, and so forth. In exchange, MLT is offering a vacation or trip for district use as a giveaway or raffle prize, with the restriction that it cannot be sold.

“The typical charge for that would be $1,500,” said zoo director Dave Merritt of a day’s reservation of the park, adding “this exceeds a typical zoo buyout.” With around 675 participants planned for, some logistical concerns over parking and number of available tables were raised. The request was approved by the board, with further details to be hammered out today.

Other items included:

– Minutes from last month’s three meetings, two alcohol permits, bills totalling $699,065.19, and salaries totalling $92,242.59 were all approved.

– Bids for a new pickup from Westlie Motors and an APV from Gooseneck Implement were both approved, respectively under budget at $24,966 and $13,239.97.

– Bid from My Turn Playstations of Horace for Riverside Playground equipment was approved, the lowest of four bids at $31,239.97. The work should hopefully be completed by late June.

– Thirteen golf carts, best described by maintenance supervisor Brian Mathson as “the oldest junkers we have,” were declared surplus property, as presented.

– Two separate addendums regarding repair for the Roosevelt Park bridges and three of the city’s trails were approved after some discussion. The pair were approved at the January as one addendum to a contract with Houston Engineering. In charge of the parks’ flood recovery, Randy Burckhard felt that “with the FEMA process it would be better separated,” and that having the two projects as separate articles would speed repairs and simplify financing.

– A low bid of $134,150 was awarded to Pro-Mark Services Inc. for miscellaneous repairs to park facilities, such as the restroom doors at Roosevelt Park. An architect’s estimate for the work had initially run at around $202,000.