Recreation board discusses waterpark renovations, rates

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney Waterpark renovation options, the city’s 2019 water park rates and various parks’ activities were discussed during Sidney Recreation Board’s first meeting of the year on Monday, March 4.

Duane Gaier, parks and recreation director, discussed with board members the proposed capital improvement options for the water park that he presented to Sidney City Council at the Jan. 7 meeting.

For 2020, City Council budgeted $390,000 to rehabilitate the large swimming pool. After the estimates came in last year, Gaier said the actual cost was updated to be $447,268. These improvements include the following:

• New concrete deck;

• New filtration, including required plumbing and valves;

• Chemical feeders;

• Auto fill controller;

• ADA handicap lift;

• New 1-meter diving stands;

• Remove 3-meter board and replace with a drop slide.

The cost of the five options presented to council range between $270,000 to $1.6 million. The other four options City Council saw include the following:

• Option two: Replace the large pool with a large splash pad and to replace decks and filter, chemical monitoring and chemical feed upgrade. Ten life guards per shift would be needed. The cost is $1,556,682.

• Option three: Eliminate half of the large pool body and replace that area with a splash pad and filter, chemical monitoring and chemical feed upgrade. Ten life guards per shift would be needed. The cost is $679,610.

• Option four: Replace baby pool with a splash pad, repair large pool, decks and decks and filter, chemical monitoring and chemical feed upgrade. Fourteen life guards per shift would be needed. The cost is $731,000.

• Option five: Complete minimal necessary repairs to large pool, new decks, two new one meter boards and a new drop slide. There would be no change in the 16 guards needed. The cost is $270,000.

Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of the options and splash pads. Board Chair Mary Jannides said she liked the idea of replacing the baby pool with a splash pad. Members agreed splash pads are very popular and children love them.

Board members voted to recommend for City Council to consider option four water park renovations. Gaier noted that if little kids want to get in the water there would still be a zero depth entrance into the water in the larger pool.

Gaier said he will bring the recommendation to council for a change in the 2020 budget at a future City Council meeting.

In other business, board members voted on the water park rates for 2019, which City Council adopted Monday, March 11. The rates include an increase in the 2019 individual-only season pass to $34 from $33. The daily admission fee for adults, seniors and youth will remain at $4.50, but raises the daily admission for preschool children to $4 from $3.50.

Training rentals remain at $15 per hour per guard required. Also, Gaier said the two-hour pool rental will remain at $300, which covers staffing costs up to $273. Replacement photo season passes will increase to $15 from $10. All active military personnel on leave who show proper identification would be admitted for free.

During the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting, Brian Hastings, representative of Tawawa Park Trail Riders, introduced himself to the board. He said his group is responsible for constructing mountain bike trails and extending some of the existing trails in Tawawa Park over the last couple of years. Pictures and videos of the trails’ progress and the group’s happenings can be found on Tawawa Park Trail Riders’s Facebook page, he said. After the trail they will be working on this spring is completed, Hastings said he hopes to attract more cyclists to get involved involved.

Gaier also shared the following with the board:

• The newly printed park brochures are updated and available;

• Park Ranger Justin Aselage was named as a semifinalist with two other state park rangers in a national Ranger of the Year Award in December 2018;

• The 2019 Great Miami Riverway Summit will be April 19 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Troy at Hobart Arena. Among other things, the summit’s agenda includes guest panels and vendors on tourism, recreation and economic development;

Ed Hamaker, City Council member representative to the board, said the city of Sidney’s beautification committee, which he and Gaier serve on with four others, are working to redo and beautify the Interstate 75 exit ramps into Sidney. The areas will have new stone and landscaping installed to make the exits look nice and will likely spell out the word Sidney.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.