Paden City Park and Pool Board Requests Help
Paden City Mayor Joel Davis reported to the Wetzel County Commission Tuesday, June 13, regarding Paden City’s city park and the Park and Pool Board’s struggles to increase revenue.
“Two years ago Council cut our annual budget from $18,000 to $9,000. July 1st will be the beginning of our second year at this decreased budget,” Davis reported to the commission via a letter that he also submitted to the commission.
Davis said the Park and Pool Board is behind in some of its bills, including electric. However, revenue from campground rentals should cover the electric that others have not paid already.
Davis credited the volunteer organization, Friends of PC Pool, “who have helped us out immensely.”
“Without them, I am fairly sure we would not have been able to open the pool and the kids would not have a safe place to swim.”
According to the mayor, the Park and Pool Board and the Friends of PC Pool have a close working relationship, which has benefitted the pool.
“The Board is always aware of what their plans are,” Davis said.
“One thing I would like the public to know is that Friends of PC Pool is not a city entity. It is a not for profit entity, which is working on their non-profit status (501.C3).
“Any money they raise is being used to help our pool operate and keep it open. The money they raise is being used to help our pool operate and keep it open. The money they raise does not go through the city, even though the city does benefit from the funds they raise.”
Mayor Davis noted that Friends of PC Pool has used their donations in the following ways: to pay the electric bills, to fix and patch concrete in the pool, to manage the pool at no cost to the city, to supplement the additional funds necessary to meet payroll obligations, and to give out lifeguard scholarships to seven new employees
Davis said Friends of PC Pool has obtained donations for all the concession items, excluding pizza, which Dominos is helping with.
Through his presentation, Davis also credited the groups that work to help keep the park’s ball fields upgraded and “making the necessary repairs.”
Davis said the Park and Pool Board’s stream of revenue is presently coming from the campground. He said since the campground only has water and electric hook ups, and no real hook up for sewer, “it has been slow going getting our spots filled.” A dump station is on the grounds, but long term campers do not like having to move every time they need to dump sewage. A longterm goal, of the Park and Pool board, is to attach the campground to the city sewer system, or put in a septic system.
This year, the Park and Pool Board contracted out the park’s mowing, due to the fact that the engine, on the board’s mower, broke. The board did not have funds to purchase a new machine.
Presently, the board is on its second contract mower, “as the company who won the initial bid had to quite after two weeks.” Davis said if the board can raise the money, for a new mower, it will probably go back to hiring someone for the mowing next year.
A new machine will cost the board around $9,000 to $11,000.
Davis explained that the board does not have the funds to pay the individual who is now mowing. By the end of June, the gentleman will have worked nine weeks and should be paid $5,400 by that time.
From April 30 to the end of October, when the mowing season will be over, the board’s total cost for mowing will be around $15,600.
Davis said the park’s “Music in the Park” series is always well enjoyed.
“With donations, we basically break even, if not a little ahead.”
He added, “One thing new we are trying this year is a Farmers and Flea Market to coincide with Music in the Park.”
Davis gave the commissioners a “wish list” of “things we would like to see happen at the park and the areas where we need help.” He stressed that the board is “in no way asking for them all.” He also thanked the commission for funds it has donated to area groups “that in turn help the park.”
The list, provided by Davis, included the following: 9 hole disc golf course, approximately $5,000; six new swings and chains, $432; help with mowing cost, $5,400 for current money owed; 16 camera system, $1,999; outdoor complete movie system, $2,700.
It was noted that three new infant swings have already been donated to the park.
As to the disc golf course, Davis noted that the installation of a disc golf course would bring in revenue and give kids and adults more to do in the park. Davis said he is in contact with Johnny Sias, who will help design the course and “show us the ropes.” Davis explained that Johnny is from West Virginia and is a multiple time World Champion in disc golf. Sias has designed many courses “and is a wealth of knowledge.” Sias is also sponsored by Innova Disc Golf and can receive discounts on course materials, and help to find sponsors if tournaments are held at the disc golf course.
Davis said a disc golf course could bring revenue in the following ways: disc rentals, hole sponsorship, tournaments, and leagues.
On a more serious matter, Davis said cameras are needed at the park. He said offiers have caught kids smoking cannibas at the park. Furthermore, needles have been found at the park, and some buildings have been broken into over the past year.
Additionally, Davis explained a recent situation when a teenager reported being followed around closely in the park. He said the teenage girl was scared and asked someone she knew for a ride home.
“We could have looked at the video to see who these males were,” Davis said.
Davis explained that other municipalities have seen a decrease in crime in their parks after installation a camera system.
The Park and Pool board would also like to host “Movies in the Park.”
“Once we obtain the correct equipment, we can offer people and places to donate a “Night at the Movies.” This donation would get the person or business branding on all advertising and will help fray the cost of the license to show the film. In the meantime, Davis explained, old black and white movies are copyright free.
“We could have a ‘Date Night’ and show one of the old black and white romance movies.”
Paden City’s Park and Pool board has the ultimate goal of hiring a full time Parks Director, within the next five years. “The Park and Pool Board feels that our park would benefit greatly by creating and filling this position, but in order for this to happen, we need to generate more revenue to supplement the wages.”
The commission expressed interest in helping the Park and Pool Board with its goals, but still had questions as to “how much” it would give and and “how far it’ll go.”
The commission also requested that Mayor Davis provide it with financial statements that show how much revenue the park brings in. Davis noted that he would give statements from the past two years.