Authorization has been given to begin work on a new backstop for the baseball diamond at Memorial Park in Archbold.
Jennifer Kidder, director of Archbold Parks & Recreation, told members of the village Park Board about the project during its Wednesday, Oct. 24 meeting.
The new backstop will incorporate a short brick wall between the two dugouts and a tall net, as opposed to the current chain-link fence. The net, with slimmer poles, will improve the view from the bleachers.
A private group raised funds to do the upgrade. Park Board agreed to cover the additional expense of making the backstop taller.
Kidder said the group still needs to raise about $4,000 to cover the cost.
Park Board members agreed not to honor a request to start a fifth and sixth grade traveling spring softball team.
Kidder said there had been a request for a fifth-sixth grade team, but there were reasons to oppose the project.
School officials said a fifthsixth grade team wasn’t necessary.
Kidder said her fear is that if there was such a team, many players would have to be cut from the squad. Because young people at that age aren’t fully developed as players, many who may be good or even great players in the future may be discouraged and not try out for future teams.
Also, Kidder said she is concerned about the number of available baseball diamonds.
There is a traveling team for seventh and eighth graders.
Board members learned the site of the Ruihley Park barbecue pit could remain muddy over the winter months.
The barbecue pit was torn down, and its concrete base removed, because it did not get much use and was in bad shape, she said.
Once the pit was removed, the estimated price to cover the space with sod was $4,000.
That, Kidder said was too expensive. The area was seeded, but it may have been too late in the season for grass to grow.
“It might be an eyesore temporarily, but it’s not worth four grand,” she said.
She said students from the Four County Career Center tore down the structure, while park department crews removed the brick and concrete.
“The Four County students have been a real asset,” Kidder said.
A second picnic shelterhouse in Woodland Park, constructed by the Archbold Lions Club, has been completed, with the exception of staining the posts.
The new structure is located south and east of the concession stand.
Kidder said parks & recreation officials will work to coordinate the sign for the new building, so it matches other signs in the park.
A total of 10 oak trees have been transplanted, with nine going into Woodland Park and one in Ruihley Park.
Kidder said the trees were taken from Woodland Park before it was developed and temporarily transplanted into the village industrial park.
The nine trees were planted along the drive in Woodland Park.
The Ruihley Park tree was planted near the pavilion in honor of the late Don “Pete” Nofziger.
Worn areas in the fall-safe area at the Woodland Park playground have been repaired.
The problems with the fall-safe material had been an issue for the park board, because Archbold paid the contractor for the job but the subcontractor was never paid.
Another firm repaired the material at a cost of $5,000. The price to remove and replace all of the material was estimated at $50,000.
Kidder told board members the price to repaint the bottom of the Archbold swimming pool is estimated at $14,000.
She said the bottom must be sandblasted before fresh paint can be applied.
BMW Services, Wauseon, is the contractor.
All park board members were present.
The next meeting of Archbold Park Board is Wednesday, Nov. 28, 8 pm, in council chambers.–David Pugh