Jennifer Kidder, director of Archbold Parks & Recreation, said the Park Board needs to look at the pay scale for summer employees.
Speaking to the board at its Wednesday, Sept. 19 meeting, Kidder said she fears the board could lose good employees if wages aren’t adjusted.
“For us to be paying minimum wage for three or four years, to work a terrible schedule with no overtime, and being out in the sun all day, it’s going to be hard to keep quality people in the program,” she said.
“One girl, she came the first year of the pay freeze. She’s been asked to take more of a leadership role, but we can’t pay her more.
“I understand the pay freeze situation, but we need to have options to compensate people for the job they do.”
Sometimes, she said park employees will have to work a few hours in the mornings, then come back in the evenings.
“It’s long days, and lots of hours, and they can’t count on the hours,” she said. “They don’t have to worry about that if they work (a factory summer job) or at (a fast food restaurant).
“We’re going to start losing coaches and pool employees. None of us want to be scheduled like that.”
Vaughn Bentz, a board member, suggested looking into going back to step increases in pay for years of service.
No action was taken on the pay scale, which came up as part of a discussion of meetings with the Archbold Village Council finance committee.
Kidder noted her village vehicle is “getting ready to die.”
Also, she said the bottom of the swimming pool needs to be repainted, and the pool house needs a new roof.
Board members also discussed problems with the fall-safe surface at the Woodland Park playground.
Kidder said the surface, a rubbery material that is poured in place, has become worn and vandalized. The warranty on the material has expired.
Another problem is that when the playground was built, the village paid the contractor; but allegedly, the contractor never paid the subcontractor for the work.
That creates problems for Archbold.
Kidder told board members she had approached a second company, asking for options ranging from repairing to redoing the fall-safe material.
Kidder also said construction has started on a second picnic shelter at Woodland Park.
Krueger Construction will pour the concrete pad for the structure; then, volunteers connected with the Archbold Lions Club will start on the project Monday, Oct. 1.
Kidder said the Lions plan to use more retirees to work on the project, so there will be less activity on nights and weekends.
Work should be complete by the end of October, she said.
Kidder also discussed a row of trees that was planted at the east end of Woodland Park.
The trees are intended to keep stray soccer balls out of an adjoining field.
The project cost the park board $1,200 for the actual planting and mulching of the trees. Other costs were covered by grants from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Board members also discussed adding soil to the baseball diamond. Kidder said 50 tons of soil would cost about $3,700. She said Archbold Schools would be willing to pay half the cost.
“We haven’t added any in a while,” Kidder said.
Kidder said flag football has started. Participation is down slightly.
The program was changed to reduce the number of players on a team from 11 to six, to give more children an opportunity to touch the ball.
The board set Sunday, Oct 28, for the Haunted Hayride through the Woodland Park woods.
“It will all be in the dark this year,” Kidder said.
Students from the Archbold High School Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America group will help with the program.
Andrea Thiel, a board member, was absent.
The next meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7:45 pm, at the Archbold Municipal Building.