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Recreation Commission moves forward on community park

Susan Prasse

(11/14) The Hamiltonban Recreation Commission continues to move forward in a positive direction in the creation of its first community park. Many good ideas and feedback were presented and received by the commission and the residents on the November 18 meeting at the Fairfield Fire Hall. "We are excited about establishing this park for Hamiltonban. We want to create a happy, family space for our kids to enjoy," said Maggie Travis, from HRC.

The Commission wanted to openly communicate all of the aspects of its work and plans. Members, Maggie Travis and Terry Scripture, presented a short power point presentation to the Board and area residents detailing plans for a small playground, a pavilion, and a walking path. The newly built maintenance building and park layout has been completed. The next step is to apply for startup grants and for long-term, sustainable grants.

Autumn Arthur and Maggie Travis spoke about the different grant options and steps needed to achieve them successfully in 2015. The Adams County Green Space Grant is expected in time for conjunction with the DCNR Grant. The all-volunteers are very positive and hopeful that the community and area businesses will also come together to help make the park a reality.

In the making since 2008, Township residents Dave Jones (chair), Lacy Hammett, Terry Scripture, Maggie Travis, and Autumn Arthur were all appointed by the Board of Supervisors. They have volunteered countless hours to bring the three-acre park of the Township Campus property at 4020 Bullfrog Road to life. The Board of Supervisors ultimately makes all decisions, and their plans have been well thought out and communicated effectively to the board and general public.

Many positive comments and concerns were heard from area residents. Former Township Supervisor, Dale Premo said "I commend you all on the hard work youíve done." He also asked if the commission had thought about security, vandalism and maintenance. "Are you prepared for the possible liabilities and costs?" Resident, Ed Fitzgerald was concerned about the retention pond and wet areas around the area. BOS, Eddie Deardorff suggested making Parks and Recreation a separate entity from the Township, citing concerns about possible vandalism and liability as well. Many residents suggested a fence for safety and liability issues. Also suggested was planting water friendly plants and trees for problem areas. A walking path was a positive and most wanted suggestion.

The commission will begin the process of applying for available grants in 2015, talking with possible sponsors and local business that may support the creation of the park. They are also making sure that all board and public concerns are addressed and handled with open as well as transparent communication. If all goes as planned, the building could begin as soon as 2017. "Itís a slow process, but weíre being very careful, very methodical, and very positive. Thatís the best way," said Travis.

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