LEAD PHOTO: Darryll Raitt, of Timber View Trees, works with some greenery to create a Chrismas wreath on Monday. The tree farm is south of Ashland and has a large selection of Christmas trees.
The Ashland Community Park has long been a centerpiece for community involvement and events. The Fall Festival in October took place in the park, and the upcoming Holiday Celebration featuring the Christmas tree lighting will be held at the park on Friday, December 7. Youth sports are also playing a bigger role in the park’s use. Now, the park board thinks it is time to improve the park’s facilities.
“The Ashland Parks Board is researching and ready to show people their tax dollars are being well spent by working to get new park restrooms,” said Alderman Jesse Bronson, who is the Board of Aldermen’s liaison with the Parks Board.
The current park restrooms are concrete walls, with a roof in need of repairs, and not in ADA compliance, Americans with Disabilities Act. Located at the southeast parking lot of the park, the restrooms are only accessible when the weather is above freezing.
The Park Board considered renovating the current bathrooms into a storage facility, however the Board of Alderman did not see the merit. “How much storage could we really get? Let’s get ride of it’” said Alderman Richard Sullivan.
“Why are we renovating an eye sore? I won’t even try and use those bathrooms,” said Mayor Gene Rhorer. The Mayor and the Board of Alderman want to see the current bathrooms demolished, and rebuilt in a new area of the park.
“We’ve considered a new building in another area by the baseball fields that could be a year around facility,” said City Administrator Lyn Woolford.
The Park Board will continue researching on what type of facility will be in budget, and is welcome to looking for community funding support. The goal in upgrading the restrooms would include a full time working facility, that is ADA compliant, and include diaper-changing stations.
The Park Board will be utilizing dollars from the new sales tax passed by voters this year. The expenditures must be approved by the Board of Aldermen.