GALLIPOLIS — Just in time for the return of fair weather, a few minor changes will be coming to the Gallipolis City Park and the city park system.
During a regular meeting last week, the Gallipolis City Commission approved a recommendation of the city’s park advisory board to place four picnic tables within the interior of the Gallipolis City Park in downtown Gallipolis.
Gallipolis City Manager Randy Finney reported that the tables, to be placed in all four “quadrants” of the city park along the walkways that link the bandstand to its four corners, will be the same black metal-type tables that can be found just along the riverfront on the hill above the public use area.
“I know it’s going to be a touchy subject, and I think it’s something you all would probably want to think about,” Finney commented about the addition of the picnic tables.
“We try to protect the park so we don’t get too much stuff in there so if there are events and people need to move stuff around, they can do that, but I told them I would run it past you all and see what you thought,” Finney said. “They are looking for ways to get more use out of the park.”
Finney reported that, before the tables can be placed in the park, concrete slabs will need to be poured as a base for the picnic tables.
City commissioner Jim Cozza inquires whether the placement of these tables would in anyway adversely affect the River Recreation Festival and other large events that are held in the park annually.
Finney reported that, as there are already park benches along the angled sidewalks in the park, he didn’t believe the addition of four picnic tables would matter that much.
“Really, I don’t think there would be that much impact,” Finney said. “I think they want to start out with one in each quadrant just to see how it goes.”
During the discussion, City Commission President Jay Cremeens voiced his approval of the idea as the tables and benches across from the city park are widely used by the public during the warmer months.
“During the summer months, you can’t get a table over there on top of the hill,”Cremeens said. “I think it’s a good idea, I don’t have any opposition to that.”
Commissioner Matt Johnson stated that he also had no opposition to the idea, and, while Commission Vice-president Steve Wallis stated that he found the park board’s recommendation surprising, he, along with his fellow commissioners, voted in favor of the motion to place the tables within the interior of the city park.
“Tell them, Randy, that we’re okay with that, and if they want to try four [picnic tables] as a pilot project, they sure can,” Cremeens said.
Also during the meeting, the commission and city manager discussed the park board’s recommendation to raise the current rates for park rentals within the city.
“Right now, we charge $25 for rental for the parks, the park board recommended that we go $35 for rental for the parks because of the upkeep we have to do to take care of them,” Finney stated.
Finney further reported that the park board voted to allow interested persons to rent space in the city’s parks from either 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or from 4-9 p.m. on any given day.
A lot of people say, ‘I want the whole day’ and are only be there for a three or four hours, and somebody else could utilize it,” Finney said.
According to the city manager, it was the board’s suggestion that the $35 fee be applied to either the early (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) or the later time frame (3-9 p.m.), with a $60 fee for an all-day rental.
Additionally, Finney reported that the park board wished to allow the rental of each individual quadrant within the larger city park downtown for the $35 fee and that rental of the entire city park should equate to $100.
Following the discussion, a motion to approve the park board’s suggestion to increase the park rental fee was unanimously passed by the commission.