The Grain Valley Park Board met June 22nd to review recent expenditures, upcoming projects, and receive an update on the Pathways of Honor project at Butterfly Trail.
Reviewing recent expenditures, the department purchased a new Ventrac mower, which was listed at a cost of $46,880.84. The eight wheeled mower will allow for enhanced mobility, as well as quicker mowing times.
The recent replacement of an AC Compressor in the Community Center was not a planned purchase, but required due to the failure of the previous unit. The cost of the unit came in at $18,329.00.
The Buckner-Tarsney Trail Design, at a projected cost of $31,142.00, was also discussed. The trail design is located where Blue Branch Creek Trail intersects with Buckner Tarsney Rd. and continues south to Nelson Dr.
The department also ordered a new set of flags for the Veterans Tribute at the Pathways of Honor, listed at a cost of $776.00.
“Our goal is to always have a backup set. Then our goal is to always have a new set up prior to Memorial Day and then six months later for Veterans Day,” Shannon Davies, Director of Grain Valley Parks and Recreation said.
Park Board member Mike Switzer gave an update on the current growth and status of the memorial.
“It looks nice up there. The wildflowers are doing what they do - being wild. The guy from the Department of Natural Resources said that it looked good. One of the things we want to do is habitat the butterflies. Overall, it looks great and it's holding up well,” Switzer said.
Davies then went on to discuss the City's Comprehensive Plan and a separate Parks Master Plan. The last City Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2014.
“We've had so much growth in the last almost ten years, that we felt it was time to have another one,” Davies said.
Bids for consulting firms to complete the Comprehensive Plan and Parks Master plan are due by June 28th.
The next topic of discussion surrounded the Park Board’s involvement with the future construction of the new Grain Valley Mid-Continent Library, which will be located off of Buckner Tarsney Rd. There will be a “pocket park,” otherwise known as a green space, located to the north of the library. Davies called this a “connector piece,” where current and future trails will intersect and better adjoin the rest of the town.
Brian Bray, the President of the Park Board, then brought up concerns about the bridge on the new Blue Branch Creek Trail. His concerns dealt with kids jumping into the creek despite unsafe conditions below.
“If it's like most creeks, not the best thing to be in,” Alderman Dale Arnold said.
Efforts are being made by the Park Board to ensure the safety of anybody involved with activity on Blue Branch Creek Trail.
The Board then transitioned to highlight current programs and special events. Davies mentioned the Grain Valley Public Works event taking place at Armstrong Park on June 23, from 5-7pm. He also brought to attention the success of Grain Valley’s aquatic programming.
“Our swim lessons are always popular. We usually have so many that we have a waiting list for certain age groups. So far, our swimming attendance has been pretty good. Of course the weather has cooperated quite a bit. We're in prime swimming weather now,” Davies said.
Youth Baseball and Softball spring season has gone well, and is set to finish on June 30th.
“We have just a little over 50 teams, and a little over 550 kids enrolled in both sports,” Davies said.
Grain Valley’s tennis lessons underwent its first session earlier on in June, and is currently in the process of its second session. Coach Randy Draper and his high school players take the initiative to run the camp. Kids aged six and up are welcome to enhance their tennis skills in a fun, positive environment.
“It's a well attended camp. It doesn't hurt that you got Coach Draper involved with it either,” Davies said.
The Park Board meeting ended with Davies welcoming two new members to the board. Sean Brady was introduced, who has four years of previous experience on the board, as well as Dale Arnold, who will serve as the Board of Aldermen Liaison.
The next meeting of the Park Board will be held on August 16th at the Grain Valley Community Center.