The Winamac Park Board discussed some of its plans for the Town Park with a small group of local residents during a public hearing Monday. Park Board President Courtney Poor explained that the board plans to apply for a federally-funded Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. “What this is for is two things,” he said. “We want to build a new restroom and we’re looking for some help for that over at the park, and we also want to completely revamp, if possible, the small children’s playground and to make it ADA-compliant, as best we can.”
In response to questions, board members said the old brick restrooms in the front of the park will be demolished and replaced with a new structure. They added that there will be more ADA-compliant stalls, and more room, in general. However, the new restrooms will not include showers.
Poor pointed out that the project will take place in a floodway. It was noted that the restrooms were designed with that in mind.
When it comes to the toddler playground, the park board plans to get nearly $54,000 in new equipment, if the grant is received. That would include two spring rides, sand diggers – including one that’s wheelchair-accessible, a small marry-go-round, a swing set, and a feature with crawl tubes, four slides, and various types of climbing walls.
Resident MacKenzie Ledley spoke in support of the project, noting that the current equipment doesn’t reflect well on the Town Park, due to its age and condition. She added that her family often goes to other towns with better playgrounds.
At the same time, Ledley also called for the park board to put in place some sort of maintenance plan for the rest of its equipment and asked if the town has a policy when it comes to cleaning playground equipment after major flooding events. Park Manager Dave DeLorenzo said he hadn’t cleaned it since the February floods, and board members recommended that he do so.
Following Monday’s public hearing, the next step is for the Winamac Park Board to turn in its grant application to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources by June 1. Town officials will learn if the request is approved in August or September.