Park board: Gonzales appointed, sworn in to fill board vacancy
Spring Lake opening day set for June 3
ROCHELLE — At its monthly meeting Monday, the Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District Board of Commissioners held interviews with board applicants to fill the position vacated by Commissioner Ryan Tartaglia's resignation.
Following applicant interviews in executive session, the board voted unanimously to appoint Kristi Gonzales to the commissioner position for a two-year term. She was then sworn in by Park District Executive Director Jackee Ohlinger.
Ohlinger and Superintendent of Recreation Andrew Murray said preparations are ongoing for the summer opening of Spring Lake Pool and opening day is planned for Saturday, June 3.
Murray said orientation was recently held with all Spring Lake staff for the summer and two more orientation sessions will take place. Pool passes are now available for sale online or at The REC Center. All-inclusive members of The REC get admission to Spring Lake for the summer.
"Staff has been working on projects within the bath house at Spring Lake and the maintenance team has been working on the splash pad and the functions of the pool," Ohlinger said. "I'm thankful for everyone and their hard work. I'm just really glad that our staff can work so hard to prepare all of our facilities for a safe season."
Ohlinger said the park district has been working with Spring Lake staff year round on training, orientation, swim lessons and more which has helped with employee retention from season to season.
"Many facilities are unable to staff their outdoor pools or locations and I'm thankful that we're not in that boat," Ohlinger said.
Signage has been added to the splash pad regarding its use operations. When the pool is not open, the splash pad is open for free use by the public. When the pool is open, use of the splash pad is part of the cost of admission.
During her director comments portion of the meeting, Ohlinger provided updates on a number of ongoing projects.
The park district has purchased a new brush hog machine that has previously been used for clearing brush at Midwest and Skare Park. The work has involved opening space for walking paths and the disc golf course at the Skare Park and dealing with areas impacted by the 2014 tornado in the area. More work will take place on the project this summer.
Ohlinger said Hagemann Horticulture has been working on landscaping projects at various district parks. Back in February, the park district approved a landscaping design and maintenance program agreement with Hagemann Horticulture for $24,971.39. The next landscaping work will take place at The REC Center.
"You should see all of our parks finishing the new plant material here in the next few weeks," Ohlinger said.
New signage has been placed at multiple park district properties including at its maintenance shop, at Skare Park and Lake Sule.
Lake Sule's shore work has been completed, Ohlinger said. The work involved clearing trees and shrubs around the outside of the lake to open it up for more activities and visibility of the property. The park district has plans to clear the entire perimeter of the lake and apply chemicals to prevent willow trees and shrubs from growing back.
"It's really great to have that visual of the lake," Ohlinger said. "The water looks very welcoming. But I would remind the public that walking on the concrete slab shore is not safe and to stay on the grassy bank."