The city’s recreation director does not want more than $12,000 in a state grant to be wasted so he is working on ways to mix city labor with donations to remodel a building for bathrooms near The Rotary Gazebo at Harmon Park.
Wapakoneta Recreation Director Jack Hayzlett received estimates to remodel a storage building at Harmon Park at a cost of $35,000. The city received a Ohio Department of Natural Resources Nature Works grant totaling $12,397 to help with the project, but the city would lose the money if the project is not completed by December 2014.
“We are looking to have men’s and women’s separate restrooms with two toilets on each side and a little bit of storage area in the building — basically the existing storage building across the drive from the gazebo would be divided in half for the two restrooms,” Hayzlett said after Monday’s Wapakoneta City Recreation Board meeting. “There is no plumbing there right now, but there is a water line that runs about 100 feet from the building which would have to be extended to the building and there is a sanitary sewer line that runs near the bridge that would have to be extended.”
Hayzlett said he and members of the Wapakoneta Engineering Department hoped city crews could extend those lines to the building to reduce the cost of construction. He also hope they could do some block work at the building to reduce the cost further.
Mayor Rodney Metz told Hayzlett the city crews would not be permitted by state regulations to install water and sanitary sewer lines in the building because they do not have the certifications or licenses to conduct that type of work.
With the grant and city labor, Hayzlett said the cost of the project could be reduced to approximately $12,000 and he would try to raise the remaining funds or seek in-kind labor to finish the project. He may attempt to use $12,000 from the sale of Hauss-Helms Fund money since the cost is so low and the project is a capital improvements project.
“I think it is a very important project and I thought that even before we received the Nature Works grant, but now to me to receive $12,397 of what I consider free money I think it is even more important to find the remaining money so we can remodel that building and have restrooms near the gazebo,” Hayzlett said. “I think it is very important because I am the one who takes reservations for the gazebo and many of them tell me we need bathrooms near the gazebo.”
People have told Hayzlett it can be difficult for some people to use the bathrooms at the Wapakoneta WaterPark because of the distance and the terrain. He said the gazebo is rented nearly every weekend and is a popular summer destination for parties, cookouts, meetings and other events.
Hayzlett also unveiled an exhibit to board members after a salary change and increase was discussed at the Feb. 4 Wapakoneta City Council meeting.
As general manager of the Wapakoneta WaterPark, Hayzlett could not be paid hourly and the position had to be changed to salary. With overtime, he averaged nearly $10,000 each year and as a salaried employee he requested $12,000.
On Monday, he explained his request to board members which included work he intends to do this year above and beyond his job description.
“I am going to be painting the two water slides and I got an estimate to paint those two water slides and it would cost $19,960,” Hayzlett said. “I am also going to paint the bottom of the lap pool and that is a savings to the city of more than $5,000, and I also am going to be painting the interior of the bathhouse.
“Basically, I am going to be doing jobs not in my job description or did not do in the past but because the facility is now five years old — we are starting to see some maintenance issues,” he said. “We, as the city, want the slides to look as good as possible, the lap pool needs painted and the bath house is showing its age. If we don’t do them, we have to pay someone to do, so in total I am going to help the city save $15,000 for my $2,000 increase.”
Board members also accepted the resignation of Robin LaFountain from the board. The Wapakoneta City Schools administrators will have to appoint a person to fill the seat on the board.