Board plans tour of HPD properties

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER
The Hancock Park District board will tour park district properties beginning next month, the board decided Tuesday.
The commissioners usually tour community parks every other year and hear about improvements from community representatives. The park district provides about $100,000 annually for community park improvements.
But with several new properties, including one near Mount Blanchard and one near Arcadia, board Chairman Gary Hirschfeld and Vice Chairman Scott Younger felt this was a good time to view park district properties.
Park district Director Gary Pruitt will organize the tours for the spring and summer.
Separately, Tifani Boltz-Heywood was introduced as the new marketing manager for the park district. She began work March 17 and replaces Margie Stateler, who retired last month.
Also, Pruitt said the park district expects a $70,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation for road paving in 2015. Projects will likely include the parking lot at Aeraland Park, north of Arcadia.
Several grant applications have been submitted, Pruitt said.
A $76,800 grant application for construction of two concrete canoe and kayak launch/landing areas at Liberty Landing and Blanchard Landing, west of Findlay, have been submitted to the state.
The grant, through the state Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft, would provide 100 percent reimbursement after the park district paid up front for the project, Pruitt said. Notification should come in the fall, but it will take one to three years to complete the projects and get reimbursement.
Also, a “state water trail” designation has been requested for the Blanchard River, from Eastpoint Landing along East Main Cross Street in Findlay to Arrowhead Park in Ottawa.
The park district is seeking the grant and the state designation to promote kayaking and canoeing on the river.
Separately, the board approved an additional $6,200 appropriation to cover an unemployment compensation claim for Ted Scherff, former program manager whose employment was terminated in January, according to Pruitt. The park district appealed the issue once, he said, and has now decided to pay the claim.
Michelle Rumschlag will assume the programming duties.
Maurer: 419-427-8420
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