Think of it as Dr. Frankenstein meets the leaf blower.
That’s one way of describing the machine the Park Board agreed to purchase at its Wednesday, March 9 meeting.
The blower the board purchased isn’t something you can carry or strap to your back.
No, this one has its own trailer, a 27-horsepower engine, and an “axial” fan.
Similar to those used in jet engines, the fan, or turbine, can move huge amounts of air.
Connected to that is a giant plastic nozzle with a 90- degree bend in it.
This is not something to blow the leaves off your patio, unless your patio is the size of a parking lot.
Troy Double, Archbold Parks & Recreation maintenance supervisor, said the blower can do a number of jobs.
It can blow debris off a parking lot in a fraction of the time it would take with a smaller blower, blow leaves and sticks off grassy areas for mowing, and even blow rocks that washed off ball diamond number 4 back where they belong.
It can even be used to dry off a ball diamond, and clear snow.
In addition, it can be towed behind a vehicle like a pickup, mounted in the back of a small utility vehicle, and even attached to the front of a tractor.
Manufactured by Toro, an out-of-town firm brought one (that was formerly owned by the Cleveland Browns) to Archbold to demonstrate.
The price of a new unit is $7,077.50.
Jennifer Kidder, director of Parks & Recreation, told the board that originally, $4,000 had been budgeted for a blower that would fit on the front of a lawn mower, but Double said that would tie up a mower that was needed for mowing.
The board noted there were two Toro dealers in Archbold; it suggested buying one from one of them.
The board approved spending up to $7,077.50 to purchase the unit.
After the meeting, Kidder said the blower was purchased from Black Swamp Equipment, Archbold.
Kidder said the new scoreboard for the Memorial Park baseball diamond has been delivered and is waiting to be installed.
“It’s really big,” Kidder said, describing the size of the 36-feet-wide scoreboard.
Steel I-beams, anchored into the ground, will be needed to mount the new scoreboard, she said.
She added all of the money pledged to support the scoreboard project has been received.
The basketball program for youngsters, offered at the Archbold elementary school gym, has ended.
Board members discussed the parking lot situation, where children and parents leaving the first session of games are in the parking lot at the same time as cars arriving for the second set of games.
The issue was previously discussed.
A question was asked about allowing people to drive on the blacktop near the concession stand at Memorial Park.
Kidder said she was allowing coaches to drive on the surface to unload and load equipment before and after games.
She does not allow vehicles to park on the blacktop.
The board also discussed the sale of concessions at the Ruihley Park baseball diamond.
Rather than build a concession stand, board members considered the idea of a trailer.
No definite action was taken.
Vaughn Bentz, village councilman and park board member, asked about having some events at the amphitheater in Woodland Park.
He noted it would be easy to route electrical power to what would be the stage area, and restroom facilities are readily available.
Bentz also discussed adding trash cans between soccer fields to reduce littering. Double suggested using concrete air conditioner pads– squares of concrete used to place outside air conditioning units. The trash cans can be placed on them, he said.
The board went into executive session to discuss property issues.
The next meeting is Wednesday, April 13, 8 pm, in council chambers.