Winamac Park Board Weighing Options for Additional Maintenance Help

Entrance to the Winamac Town Park

The Winamac Park Board is looking to add some more maintenance help. Based on a recent work session on the upkeep of the town’s parks, Park Board President Courtney Poor says he’s come to the conclusion that Park Manager Dave DeLorenzo needs more help.

“I mean, when it starts raining, all bets are off trying to get some other things done,” Poor said during Thursday’s meeting. “Now I know that he has access, from time to time, to other workers. And it has been suggested, according to discussions I had with one town board member, that they have some type of a swing person that could be working for one department then another department according to need, and that apparently is not something that the town board was interested in.”

Winamac typically hires one employee to help with the parks during the summer, but Poor felt that wasn’t enough, “Many years ago now, it used to be just the park, and then we got Rinehart Park and then we got Veterans Park – which is being taken care of by somebody else, I understand that – then we got the Parkway, and that’s being taken care of by this, that, and the other. I understand that.” Not only that, but the usage of the park facilities has gone up too, according to Poor, leading to more trash.

Poor raised the possibility of requesting a tax increase to offset the cost of hiring someone, at the very least, as a way to force the town council to come up with a solution. Board member Pat Bawcum and Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger both voiced their opposition to that idea.

Instead, Berger suggested that the park board try to come up with a more specific job description and cost estimate and see if they could work it into next year’s budget. She also pointed out that if that isn’t possible, the board could request an additional appropriation next year.

As another alternative, Berger asked if the board might consider contracting out some of the mowing work. DeLorenzo didn’t think it would be any cheaper than hiring a part-time employee, but board members generally agreed it was worth looking into. They plan to discuss the possibility of getting cost estimates at their next meeting and then compare the costs of the various options.