With summer fast approaching, the Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation Department is gearing up for a busy season.
The July 4 Celebration committee is working to finalize plans for this year’s event, which will be Tuesday, July 3, at Lykins Park.
Last year at this time, there was some doubt as to whether the department would be able to afford the expensive fireworks show — the signature feature of the celebration — due to a lack of funds.
But committee chairman Tim Smith said things look a lot better this year, that the committee is “way ahead of this time last year” and is working hard to put the finishing touches on its plans and securing the necessary funding.
The parks board also approved requests from several groups to use facilities for community events this summer.
Winchester First United Methodist Church was approved to host the “Face of Love Week” at College Park July 16-20. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day and include a vacation Bible school each morning, community outreach by the church youth and family fun night activities for the community.
The board also gave tentative approval for College Park and Lykins Park to be used for the 34th Annual Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, subject to followup meetings with organizer Kitty Strode to finalize details in accordance to the board’s new rental fee policy.
An unnamed group was approved to use Lykins park for a one-night concert tentatively set for May 18 contingent on the group finalizing a contract and providing proof of insurance. Parks Board Chairman Charlie Eury said the Winchester Little League has agreed to move its baseball games scheduled for Friday, May 18, to another date to accommodate the concert. Organizers said the venue would be cleaned and ready for use by the Little League for its regularly scheduled games on Saturday, May 19.
Eury said the user request would be brought back to the board at its next meeting for final approval.
In other business, the board:
— approved applying for a Clark County Fiscal Court Community Foundation grant to purchase two zero-turn mowers after hearing a report from maintenance supervisor Darrell Pryor on the condition of the department’s current mowing equipment. Pryor said the mowing decks on the two John Deere tractors have been broken down and unusable much of the spring. More than $2,500 worth of parts have been ordered to repair the two decks, and the two should be usable in the next week.
When asked about getting new mowers, Pryor recommended getting two industrial strength zero-turn mowers, which he said would cut the mowing time in half. Pryor estimated the cost of two new mowers at around $9,000.
— approved the emergency hiring of Spencer Ballard to cover the custodial duties of an employee who is going on maternity leave.
— discussed working with the Winchester Youth Soccer Association to complete an application for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to construct a combination restroom/concession stand at the Kroger Soccer Complex.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.