October 10, 2013

Properties added to parks reduction plan

Board brings back Adopt-A-Spot program.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — The Logansport Parks and Recreation Board has added to its efforts encouraged by the city administration to relinquish park properties and reduce expenses by adding several non-park properties up for sale, lease or sponsorship.

A list of 10 properties to be considered for relinquishment was presented at last month’s parks and recreation board meeting in response to Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin’s and several city council members’ suggestions to prevent parks resources from being spread too thinly.

The list includes the Benjamin Long Recreation Center; Flory Nature Preserve; and Biddle Island, Burkhart, Dunwoody, Flory Memorial, Heritage Preservation, Memorial and Patriot parks.

Jean Cole Park was removed from the originally proposed list, as it is already maintained by Home Depot in Logansport.

Logansport Parks Administrator said the initiative has already started gaining support from several interested citizens and organizations, the identities of which she was hesitant to share until agreements are in place.

“There are a lot of people out there interested in helping us,” she said.

At last month’s meeting, board members said they wanted to include other properties managed by the parks department that aren’t parks.

Added to the list are patches of land including the center island at Eastgate, the boulevard on East Broadway west of 26th Street, along Cass Plaza Road, at Anthony and Day streets, at the former fire station at Front Street and Broadway and along the railroad tracks on Melbourne Avenue between Brown and Cicott streets.

These will be included in the Logansport Parks and Recreation Department’s Adopt-A-Spot Volunteer Program, which Fawley said was first conceived several years ago but never came to fruition.

An overview of the proposed program presented at Wednesday’s parks and recreation board meeting states agreements will be available for one-, two- and three-year periods and outlined plans for training sessions, maintenance and equipment responsibilities and ways to document and recognize volunteer efforts.

Logansport Parks and Recreation Board President Terry Doran said it will be important to establish a proper line of communication with participants of the program to ensure the proper care of the properties continues.

“They have to at least live up to the standards we have had in the past,” he said.

The possibility of transferring the maintenance of these non-park properties to the Logansport Street Department was discussed at last month’s parks and recreation board meeting. While Logansport Superintendent of Public Works Dan Williams has said he is open to the idea, Fawley said she would rather see the locations go into the hands of local residents or organizations.

“The street department does stuff for us all the time,” she said, as does Logansport Municipal Utilities. “This is something for us to do for them. It’s a great partnership. None of us could operate without the others.”

Fawley said she is working to finalize applications and agreements and determining what the proper insurance procedures should be for the initiative.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or Follow him: @PharosMAK