In the near future, area residents will notice different faces in charge of Batesville's parks and pool.
Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer submitted his resignation, effective March 21, Mayor Rick Fledderman told the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board March 19. Baumer reported he will be the South Dearborn Community School Corp. maintenance supervisor.
Earlier, by e-mail, the mayor said, "Whomever we select to replace Mike has some big shoes to fill. His energy level and desire to improve the park system in Batesville will be hard to replicate."
Reflecting over Baumer's eight-year tenure, member Don Karbowski said, "I hate to see you go. You were a big help in getting different grants." Member Dr. Ed Negovetich noted, "The passion and personal pride you’ve taken in the parks … I was always impressed by."
BPRB President Tim Hunter listed some of Baumer's accomplishments, which range from the first phase of a trails system to an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground. "With a board that didn’t have a lot of money to spend, to work the funding out, I can’t say enough" about Baumer's initiative. He received grants from Rising Sun Regional Foundation and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and gained approval from the city council on numerous occasions to use Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing funds.
Baumer reported two projects will need to be completed. The only other full-time park employee, Larry Schutte, "knows what to do if the (RSRF) grant application for baseball diamond protection gets approved." Schutte will order the netting and get it installed. If that grant is not obtained, Fledderman said Baumer got a lower estimate to put angled 4-foot-tall fencing up, but it won’t catch all balls. He told Batesville Youth Baseball/Softball representatives, "We could work together to raise money. We’re all concerned about the safety of spectators, but the netting is not cheap."