The Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation Health and Wellness Center at College Park has been a haven for people seeking relief from the extreme heat, according to the latest usage reports provided by the group.
Usage numbers for the facility presented at Monday’s Parks Board meeting show that 550 more people used the walking track, pool and gym during the first eight days of July than used the facility during the same time frame last year.
Temperatures topped 100 degrees on seven of the past 11 days, according to the National Weather Service, which made outside exercise uncomfortable and dangerous.
The walking track, typically one of the busiest areas of the facility, saw an increase of 240 people during the eight-day span, while 143 more people than last year cooled off in the pool and 167 more used the gymnasium.
Board Chairman Charlie Eury said the heat had a big impact on usage numbers the past couple of weeks, but use of all areas of the facility was up for the entire year over last year.
“The heat has brought a lot of folks in, but all our programs have seen increases this year and it’s not just individuals, we’re also getting a lot of groups coming in,” Eury said. “And those groups are not just local groups, we’re getting several groups from Lexington that come down regularly and others from nearby counties as well.”
In other business the Board:
— approved purchasing a new 72-inch mowing deck Xmark mower for the maintenance department from Central Equipment of Lexington at a cost to the department of $5,288.40. The final cost reflected a combined trade-in value of $5,575 for a 1996 John Deere 970 tractor with mower deck, 1993 John Deere 430 garden tractor and a 2004 Grasshopper 722D front mower, all of which were broken and unusable. The purchase came after extended negotiations with Central Equipment and Advanced Turf Equipment.
— approved a user request from Kentucky Wesleyan College to use the College Park Gym Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for its annual Winchester Era Alumni picnic at a cost of $125.
— discussed changing the vacant maintenance position left by the resignation of Larry Moss from full time to part time. Parks Director Jeff Lewis said the move would save the department money and part of Moss’s duties could be handled adequately by other maintenance employees. Lewis will present a position description to the Board for approval at its August meeting then advertise the position.
— heard an update from Tim Smith on the July 4 Celebration that was canceled due to the dry conditions. Smith said the celebration is being rescheduled and a new date would be announced once the July 4 committee works out the final details. “I think we definitely made the right decision to cancel on July 3,” Smith said. “There wil be a July 4 celebration, it just won’t be in July.”
— heard a report from Lewis on the recently completed summer day camp that was attended by more than 200 children each day. Lewis commended the work of camp counselors and director Michael Coston in making the camp a big success.
Lewis also announced two new classes that will be offered this fall: line dancing and a combat tactics, a self defense class.
Contact Bob Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.