The Batesville Memorial Pool will probably be open three more days this season – from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, subject to the weather and lifeguard availability, co-manager Emily Weberding informed the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board Aug. 21. “Attendance was pretty low this summer. It was definitely a slow summer,” especially compared to 2012, with its streak of temperatures in the 90s.
Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer reported, “Everything I’ve heard on the dog park (located in Liberty Park east of the tennis courts) so far has been positive .... There have been no problems at the park as far as I know. I do want to thank Tracks,” which donated bags for waste disposal. “People stop me and say how much they like it. It is being used.” Mayor Rick Fledderman agreed, “I’ve had positive feedback also.”
The dog park is open on a trial basis now. If area residents like the area and obey rules, a permanent park would have better fencing and a water source.
Baumer said, “I would suggest making it bigger. Definitely we have to have some drainage.” Fledderman asked if both areas (for large and small dogs) are needed. “I think we need both,” answered Baumer.
He reminded, “You have to have your dog registered” with the city to use the facility. A $2 dog tag is good for one year, explains Batesville Police Department head dispatcher Jennifer Furnish. The tag has a number, which can be matched to data that tells authorities the dog’s owner, name, age, description and color. Tags may be purchased between 6 a.m.-10 p.m. by using the police department entrance in the back of the Memorial Building.
BPRB President Bob Fitzpatrick maintained, “It’s time to get serious” about increasing fees to use parks and recreational facilities. A subcommittee (Fledderman, clerk-treasurer Ron Weigel and BPRB members Dr. Ed Negovetich and Chris Bradford) to study the issue has not met yet, but pledged to present recommendations at the next meeting.
Weberding said after Batesville High School seniors had a pool party in May, three more schools used the pool for eight days in August. Batesville Intermediate School students had safety training, while Batesville Middle School and St. Louis School youths enjoyed free swims. She totalled lifeguards’ hours, but charged the trio $894, half of the guards’ typical pay, “just to give the schools a little discount.” Fitzpatrick asked the fees subcommittee also to examine pool rates for private parties and schools use.
A Facebook page Baumer started a year ago now has 285 followers. He posts news about the dog park, bee warnings and other topics. “It’s gaining in popularity.” Interested persons may find it at Batesville Liberty Park/Liberty Trail/Brum Woods.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.
More topics • The commissioner has been focusing on Liberty Park. When a piece of playground equipment for handicapped kids was vandalized, Bob Maple of Red Forge, Morris, was able to repair it for $40, far less than the $754 replacement cost. A very large, dead, white oak in the middle of that all-accessible playground, "probably the biggest tree in Liberty Park," was removed Aug. 22. The stump will be ground out. He noted, "The lights in the pavilion are … real old." He will research energy-efficient lights and a large ceiling fan for that structure. • A woman wants to use the Liberty Park pavilion for a medical benefit, Fitzpatrick reported. Hunter recalled, "In the past … whenever we've waived fees, it's typically been for local nonprofit groups, not an individual." She will be questioned about type of activities and informed of open dates and must pay a fee, members decided.