Grafton Park Board approves salary increases
Grant for Leistikow Park campground expansion awarded
At its regular monthly meeting last Wednesday, the Grafton Park Board approved salary increases for its full and part time employees for 2014.
Grafton Parks and Recreation (GPR) Director Bill Dahl will see his salary increase from $34,707 to $38,500. That reflects an increase of $1.75 per hour compared to 2013. Business manager Kristy Jelinek will see a raise of $2.08 per hour to $30,500 per year. Full time parks employee Dean Feltman will see an increase of $1.74 per hour up to $34,000 per year and office employee Kayla Eide will see an increase of $1.82 per hour up to $23,000 per year. Part time staff will see a $2 per hour increase in their wages.
Cory Burns made the motion to approve the salary increases and it was seconded by Todd Storey. Storey and Burns voted for the wage increases and park board members Scott Hills and Brad Burianek voted against them. The tie was broken by board president Kerry DeMars who voted in favor of the raises, citing the park district’s relatively good financial health and growth and the excellent job the staff has been doing over the past year.
Dahl gave an update on the Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant. He said GPR has submitted an invoice in the amount of $19,000 for reimbursement for the bridge that was recently installed on the west end of Leistikow Park and other items used for the trail groomer. The bridge crosses a coulee along the recreational trail system.
Dahl said there is approximately $25,000 of RTP grant money left. He said that money will used for signage for the Leistikow Park trail system and also for gravel for the trails. He said the work needs to be completed by August 2014. GPR applied for and received an extension for the grant program due to all of the flood issues the district had to deal with during the spring and summer.
Dahl told the board that with the new snow, the trails have been groomed. He said people have been out snowshoeing on the trail system and he expects the usage of the trails to pick up.
The board also discussed the need to replace the Centennial Center scoreboard. Dahl said the current scoreboard came used from UND in 1997 and is now obsolete. Because of that he said it’s getter more difficult to find replacement parts and those parts are used.
Dahl said now is the time to start looking at a new or newer scoreboard with an LED display.
Dahl said he expects that the present scoreboard will most likely need to be replaced by 2016. He said he’s been checking prices on scoreboards with message centers and they range from $35,000 on the low side and up to $90,000 on the high side. He said most scoreboard/message centers have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years. Board member Hills suggested the park district look around to see if they can find a modern, used scoreboard similar to what they got back in 1997 from UND.
Dahl said the cost of a new scoreboard will most likely be shared by the Blue Line Club and the Grafton School District.
Dahl and Jelinek also informed the board that GPR was awarded a Tourism Infrastructure Grant for the North Dakota Department of Commerce in the amount of $54,500. GPR will use that money and local matching funds for expansion at the Leistikow Park Campground.
The money will be used to construct 15 new campsites, five bunkhouses and a build a welcome center and bathhouse.
Local matching funds include $40,500 from GPR’s budget, $4,000 from the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce and $10,000 from the Grafton Economic Development Committee.
Work will begin this spring. As a requirement of the grant, the work needs to be completed by the summer of 2015.