Grantville’s splash park opens May 24
by Clay Neely
With the Grantville splash park slated for a May 24 opening, many of the proposed activities that are accompanying the summer season were the focal point of discussion at Monday’s Grantville City Council meeting.
Michelle Huffstickler, Grantville’s recently-hired recreation director, brought the city council up to speed with items ranging from the imminent opening of the Grantville splash park to the redesigned summer camp program.
While the splash park is currently planned to be open throughout the summer until Labor Day, Huffstickler said that the splash park could remain open until it is no longer seasonally permissible. Admission for the splash park will be approximately $1 per person.
Huffstickler also addressed the readiness of the Grantville summer camp. The summer camp program will run from June 2-25 with a fee of $75 per week or $20 per day. Registration for the camp is available through Grantville City Hall.
The topic of keeping both the Post and Griffin Street parks safe was also addressed by the council as Jerry Madsen from Madsen Consulting explicitly defined what would be necessary in order to install security cameras at the two parks.
“With the addition of the splash park and the public restrooms on Griffin Street, security cameras will be needed to monitor park activity, deter vandalism and add security to the parks,” Mayor Jim Sells said.
The request called for four cameras at the splash park and three cameras at the Griffin Street Park. The 1.3 megapixel bullet cameras would each be placed in a lockbox with an Internet connection so the images can be remotely viewed.
The proposed cameras would have a nine-mile viewing range so that additional cameras could be utilized in the Grantville City Park that would expand the ability to monitor the activities of the area, according to Madsen.
“If you have a line of sight, you could cover the entire park with the cameras.”
Madsen explained the capabilities and features of the security cameras, such as the ability to view images from a remote, secure location such as a smartphone, tablet or computer. The cameras would be infrared compliant, recording up to two weeks activity.
“Michelle (Huffstickler) really needs this monitoring capability,” Sells said. “If she can watch what’s happening from her office, she doesn’t need to leave what she’s doing in order to just to see what’s going on.”
The total cost for the fixed, bullet point cameras would be $2,373.43 for the Griffin Street Park and $2,793.48 for the splash park.
The motion to accept the two bids for both parks passed unanimously.
Special event permits for several summertime festivals were also passed unanimously by the City Council. The festivals include the Mount Gilead UMC Open Car Festival, Kid-A-Palooza and Zombie Soul Survivors – all of which will require the closing of Main Street.
Both Sells and Councilman David Riley praised Huffstickler for her contributions to date and for the work that lies ahead.
“Thanks to you, our splash park will be open before our next council meeting and you’ll be the busiest person in Grantville,” Sells said. “We can’t thank you enough for the professional work you’ve done.”
Riley echoed the same sentiments.
“You’ve had a lot on your plate since coming here and you’ve done so much for us in such a short period of time,” Riley said. “We appreciate what you have brought to the table.”
However, Councilman Johnny Cooks emphasized the need for the city council to pay closer attention to the long-term strategic planning model.
“We have yet to sit down and workshop our goals,” Cooks said. “It seems like we make a lot of things happen around here but it doesn’t seem to come together on a plan. Rather, it just seems impulsive.”
Speaking about the recently vacated city manager position, Cooks stressed the importance of collaborating as a council in order to determine what happens next.
“We have a budget coming up and we need to sit down and put in place some procedures and policies to move forward on this as soon as possible,” Cooks said.