Parks-rec plans for upgrades, programs move forward

Eddie Furlong, director of the Glasgow Parks and Recreation Department, displays a photo as he discusses where plumbing work has had to be done at the department's building along Liberty Street during Monday's meeting of the Glasgow Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee, of which Chasity Lowery, at left, is chair. Melinda J. Overstreet / Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW – A request for proposals for work on playgrounds and other upgrades at Twyman and Gorin parks in Glasgow may be advertised within the next week or two.

Eddie Furlong, director of the Glasgow Parks and Recreation Department, said as of July 19 he had provided the playgrounds RFP wording to Mayor Harold Armstrong, and when he spoke with the mayor Monday, Armstrong told him he didn't have any problems with it or suggested changes, but he wanted to wait until the specifications for the restrooms and other projects were ready, so they could all be advertised at the same time.

“He assured me that sometime this week or by the first of next week, he would have our bids together to go into the paper,” Furlong said.

His report was during the Glasgow Common Council Parks and Recreation Committee's regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

“We must get started with this,” Bunnell said of those projects as the meeting was concluding. The mayor was asked to join them from the next room he had entered about that time, and he said he hoped to post the ads next week, give it about two weeks for responses and then start construction soon afterward.

Furlong also advised the committee of sewer issues that started about two weeks prior in the women's bathroom at the Liberty Street Parks and Recreation building.

The building was constructed in the 1930s and the system was “way out of date.”

Upon further investigation in resolving that issue, it was discovered that the building's sewer system had never been connected to the city's wastewater network but rather some type of dropbox.

The plumbing work in and immediately around the building was costing $4,200, and the Glasgow Water Co. was going to provide some in-house work to make the connection from the dropbox to the city's sewer network.

“This was something we weren't expecting, obviously, but it will take our sewer system and upgrade it to current standards,” Furlong said.

Regarding online registration for programs, Furlong reported that he had spoken that morning with City Treasurer Stephanie Garrett and learned that she planned to get together sometime this week with the city's information technology personnel and with RecDesk, the company recommended to provide the service whose training webinar Furlong has done, to see exactly what's needed to make them compatible.

The cost for the service is expected to be just less than $4,000, Furlong said.

“But it looks like we are headed that direction,” he said. “It's just a matter of getting the IT stuff out of the way. … Once that part's out of way, it'll actually take us about a month to get it up and running, so hopefully – knock on wood, fingers crossed – by October we can have something going.”

Furlong said the department has been working on the trails at Weldon Park through a grant, and work that has been happening a couple of years is only one section away from being completed, and that section was only several feet long.

“We actually have plans to have that finished this week, and then we'll be done with that grant,” he said. “There are some other sections that will have to be done in the coming year or so or coming years, but we'll just tackle that as we can. These sections that we've replaced over the last two years are the sections that wash out really bad every time we have a rain. So, knock on wood, this should take care of all that, because we concreted it this time.”

Bunnell asked to limit road use in front of the tennis courts, and he described what he had in mind with barriers that would essentially prevent through traffic at the park coming in from East Main Street over to the other entrance. He said there are speed bumps there, but they don't really deter the speed, and he felt it would be an important change to improve pedestrian safety.

The five committee members – Chasity Lowery, chair, Brad Groce, Freddie Norris, Sheri Eubank and Bunnell – unanimously agreed to allow this change.

Bunnell also later provided a report on the Weldon Tennis Week and the week of activities leading into it. 

“The tennis tournament talent, the skill level was just outstanding ...,” he said. “It was probably one of the best Weldon tournaments we've had in a number of years.”

Furlong also provided updates on several programs. He said the day camp was almost done and had 115 children participate this year, “which was almost at our max”; adult softball had 11 teams in the league, the most in probably five or six years; swimming classes had “a good turnout,” so we were very happy with that.” The pool is only open on weekends now through Labor Day.

“Currently we have signups going on for our fall soccer program; our fall volleyball league, which is for adults; and also our fall softball league,” he said.

All  of those are co-ed sports.

Several fall events are coming up as well, including the turkey trot race, Halloween festival, adult corn hole, and fall basketball league, he said.

“I know people think that summertime is our busiest time of the year. It kind of is for the parks, but as far as programming goes, our fall is by far the busiest,” Furlong said.

More than half of the meeting of roughly an hour was spent with a presentation from Jeff Cooper, representing Star-Tel Systems Inc., regarding security cameras in parks. He provided price estimates for each of four options for each of five city parks as well as other pages listing more details for each park, like how many cameras might go there, etc.