By Allison C. Gallagher
For the Troy Daily News
WEST MILTON — Children will be able to enjoy basketball courts and a community garden soon, as the West Milton Parks Board discussed Wednesday night.
Municipal Manager Matt Kline gave an update about the basketball courts on Jay Street, which are in need of getting resealed. There was good news regarding getting the courts fixed on a limited budget.
“I got a range of $8,000 to $11,000 just to get the basketball courts resurfaced and to get the two backs fixed on that one court,” Kline said.
He was able to get in contact with two asphalt companies, one out of Ohio and another out of Indiana that was more expensive, and arranged to get the resealing done at the lower price range.
The tennis courts need repaired, and Kline said that while he was crunching numbers that his estimates came to around $10,000 to repair those. He emailed his contact from the company that the city is going with to let her know that the amount was too much for the city’s budget, and was able to get the amount lowered.
The Parks Board discussed construction of the butterfly garden in Old School Park. One idea thrown around was having high school students help with constructing the butterfly garden. Kline reported that companies such as Lowes were on board with helping in construction and offering their services, and there is a possibility that the butterfly garden will be donated by the school because of the students’ role in construction.
Board member Susan Willis suggested using informative signs as a way of raising donations for the park.
“I think we should set up topographical area signs, telling people ‘you are here’ with a map so they know their location, but also to tell them how they can help keep the park going,” Willis said.
Community Grace Brethren Church utilized McCall Park on June 7 for their vacation bible school, and Kline shared that the church had sent him a thank you note for allowing the church to use the park.
Additionally, the organizers at Community Grace Brethren asked about using some space at Old School Park for their summer games on Aug. 2.
“They’re planning on having a second one and want to keep it [the location] where kids are within walking distance,” Kline said. “I don’t know how much area they’ll need for the games, so we’ll need to get people to go out arm-in-arm and scope the area. I don’t want a kid to be running around, step into a hole and break their ankle.”
The board was concerned that there would be adequate bathroom facilities for the amount of chidren coming for the event. At the previous location at McCall Park, if one of the kids needed to use the restroom they could go into the nearby IGA or Owl Drugs. Some board members suggested renting a Port-A-Potty.
“Renting one that isn’t used would cost fifty dollars for the day, so we could order four or five of them with no problem,” Kline shared.
A community garden
According to Kline, Milton-Union High School is going to be adding an agricultural course that the high school and district has never had before.
“They need to learn how to plant and do the physical work,” Kline said. “It’s got a lot of value to it.”
One location that has been thought of for turning into a community garden is the patch of land near the high school, and the board mentioned the idea of utilizing park space in West Milton.
“They have an area by the cross country track and behind the tennis courts that is an option,” Kline said. “We have McCall Park, which has only been used twice and all we do is mow it. The church used it last month and there was a soccer game there two years ago, but otherwise, it’s unused.”
With the IGA being near McCall Park, the board brainstormed the possibility of turning part of the land into a community garden so the high school students could use the location to run a farmer’s market and learn about transportation and economics.
“It’s a prime location,” said Park Board President Mark Pricer. “And it wouldn’t hurt the kids to learn about transportation and making some money.”
He also added that other communities have famer’s markets and that West Milton had been talking about having one for a while.
Superintendent of Streets Ben Herron talked about the damage that the Rotary Shelter took following the previous rainstorm.
“Last storm we had a lot of lightning,” Herron said. “It actually struck the roof and left huge holes in the roof, and left electrical wires exposed. I thought that was the biggest concern and so I called an electrician right away to get that fixed.”
The Rotary Club is paying to repair the roof, which takes care of the issue.
Herron then read from a police report where an older resident backed into the Dick Minnich Memorial Bench and broke a leg off of it. According to the police report, the woman was unloading her car and backed up into the bench, which was donated by Rachel Ann Minnich and her family. Kline stated that the bench was important to the park itself.
“It kind of become part of the park, when it became a feature of Veterans’ Memorial,” Kline said.
Finally, there is an open seat with the West Milton City Council and the Parks Board. The term started this January and ends in December 2016. The only requirement is that the individual applying to the position be a resident of West Milton.
To apply or for more information, call the West Milton Municipal Building at (937) 698-1500.