Culver park board seeks input via survey, meetings Nov. 16, 23

Culver Citizen
Staff Writer

Culver's town park board is hoping to map out the next five years of the park's future by way of a five-year master plan, and board members are seeking the community's input towards that end.

Rhonda Reinhold, chairperson of the plan's committee, says the board is holding two consecutive, one-hour citizen input meetings which will fulfill its requirement for both a grant application and the five-year plan. Meetings are scheduled for Monday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the beach lodge on Lake Shore Drive, and the following Monday, November 23, at the same time and location.

Residents are also asked to provide input towards the park's future by filling out this survey:

At the Oct. 27 meeting of Culver's town council, park board member Patty Stallings updated on park progress since January of 2014.

Among items reported were that a monthly financial report is presented each month; a comprehensive policy manual has been written which provides citizens with the park's rules and regulations; board members have met a minimum of three meetings a month in order to meet the challenges that the park and it's buildings present; six working committees made up of over 25 volunteer citizens and board members were established, in order to research and offer guidance (these include finance, policy, buildings, piers, landscape).

The board, she continued, has spent over $200,000 repairing park buildings, including new decking to eliminate the leaks in the lower level, and new railings to increase the safety at the beach lodge; work to divert storm water and to water proof the foundation to prevent water from leaking into the lower level; installation of three new furnaces and two air conditioning units "as the lower level had no heat, the mid-level was inefficient, and the upper level was emitting dangerous fumes"; purchase of tables and chairs for the meeting room "whose furniture were taken from the beach lodge and donated or sold to a church outside of Culver by the senior citizen group that owned them"; repair and stain of the gazebo; repair and cleaning of all four masonry fireplaces which had become inoperable; purchase of pumps which had been broken and not replaced, or failed during the summer; replacement of the corroded dumpster with a smaller, less obtrusive one; installation of new wrought iron railings on the steps leading down to the lakefront; replacement of the dilapidated courtesy pier.

Along with the town council, the board is developing a topographical survey of the park grounds, said Stallings, and has applied for and received an $18,000 grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation to refurbish the 1800s-era west picnic pavilion.

Other projects included $10,000 for Christmas lights throughout the park; $2,000 for purchase of a Point of Sale accounting and cash register system to provide an acceptable means of accountability determined by the Indiana State audit of the park.

The board hired a full-time superintendent with a degree in Parks and Recreation, a certificate of lifesaving, and 18 years of park supervision experience, explained Stallings, and evaluates him twice a year. An ongoing training program for lifeguards was established and revenue increased by reconfiguring the boat rental slips and piers; a five-year master plan is expected for adoption this year. The board is in the process of applying for a $1,000,000 grant to refurbish the beach lodge so all three levels can become a community center, she said.