The Ashland Parks Board met on September 9 to accommodate citizens wanting to ask questions and share suggestions about the parks. Ashland resident Ron Wilcox stated “I am full of rage” at park conditions and the fact that the park board was not being allowed to spend money designated for repairs on additions. “Why are you guys even here if you can’t spend money?,” he questioned. Parks Chair Tracy Banning explained to Wilcox that the board is a “recommending body” and all fiscal authorizations from the park tax funds are approved by the council, per city ordinance.

Wilcox also offered to start up a trail snow removal fund by donating $50 to kick it off, if the city would be sure to clear snow in the park during the winter for pet walkers. Public Works Supervisor James Creel stated that he would indeed like to get a Gator UTV with a plow for trail snow removal and other city activities. However, Creel emphasized that when the city has large snowfalls, such as the 17” one weekend last winter, the city focuses on trying to keep streets clean, leaving the walks and trails a secondary priority. Wilcox also emphasized his appreciation for the hard work the maintenance crew currently puts forth with very limited resources.

Also, in attendance were approximately eight tennis court supporters speaking on behalf of resurfacing or rebuilding the existing facilities. Carrie Ward Mertensmeyer led this discussion by asking “How did the parks got to this point, and what can be done to fix it?” She brought up the fact that the tennis courts have not been maintained, the park bathrooms which were redesigned to be easy to clean are not being cleaned, and that the park pond is in poor shape.

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~

By Ernie Wren

Photo: Regardless of the local concern over conditions at the park, there is nothing wrong as far as Brooks Blake, 2½ years, is concerned who was photographed on Tuesday morning while playing around with his mom, Journal reporter Carson Blake and his five-week-old baby brother Louden.