HOBART — Attention hasn't diminished for a $4.1 million bond issue that's being pursued to fund seven city parks projects.
Resident Jen Woronecki-Ellis told the City Council she agrees there's a need to complete several of the proposed projects, including the creation of a new maintenance garage for the Parks Department.
Woronecki-Ellis said the last parks master plan called for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance work to be completed in some city parks facilities, but not all of that work has been done yet.
She said it would be more appropriate to focus on those now instead of some other projects that would be funded through the bond issue, including a new splash pad at the Hobart Community Pool.
Parks Superintendent John Mitchell said improvements are planned to address ADA-compliance at parks within the bond projects.
Mayor Brian Snedecor also explained the existing splash pad doesn't have a system that recirculates water. Snedecor said the city is sending money “down the drain,” and the new splash pad would save funds by including a system to recirculate water.
Woronecki-Ellis said upgrading the splash pad isn't a necessity now but something the municipality could revisit in the future.
Councilman Josh Huddlestun said Hobart used information gathered from surveys completed by residents when deciding which parks projects to pursue with bond funding. A splash pad was one of the largest demands from residents, he said.
“These were the things people wanted,” Huddlestun said.
Keeping the splash pad at the Hobart Community Pool site also has been questioned by some residents who believe locating it closer to the city's downtown would be more appropriate.
Huddlestun said he initially had some concerns about the splash pad site, but his opinion has changed.
He said the existing location, at the pool, is near a bike trail that travels to the downtown area, and that could become a gateway to a variety of places in the city.
“I think it's a great spot,” Huddlestun said.
Other projects that would be completed with bond funding include work at Lakefront Park, the Brickie Bowl, Rugby Field and Festival Park. The city also plans to upgrade community park facilities.
The bond issue has been supported by Hobart's Park Board, but the City Council will make the final determination about financing in a future meeting.