Park board OKs truck purchase

Seneca County Park District’s board approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford F-250 Supercab utility truck for use by new Nature Preserves Manager Troy Gibson during its meeting Tuesday morning.

The truck’s price is $27,438.

Gibson’s first day was Feb. 5.

Another employee, Shelly Smola, was hired as part-time business manager to begin Tuesday.

The board also approved spending $229 to purchase a Chromebook laptop computer with extra battery and surge protector for employee use.

The board approved a resolution reporting to Probate Judge Jay Meyer more than $38,000 in donations received in 2017.

They include $269 from Fahrenbruck for general purpose at Zimmerman Nature Preserve; $25 from Threads/Pine for general district use; Dolly Garlo, $250 for a volunteer award; Lea Markley, $25 for use of the shelter; Elaine Levans, $20 to the Friends organization; Darylene Dunn, $10 for a Friends membership; $20 from a library kick-off event; $10 from a senior citizens program; $125 from Herbert Harpster for general use at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve; Friends organization, $1,763 for a shed at Forrest Nature Preserve; Robert Teach, $10,000 for Bowen Nature Preserve, $25,000 and $35,000 each for special projects; Friends organization, $15; Lubrizol Foundation, $125 in matching funds for the Herbert Harpster donation; Christina Gary, $150 in honor of Monte Scott; $95 anonymous donation to the preschool; $100 donation from WSOS to the preschool; and $10 from Karl Kerschner to the preschool.

In addition, the resolution included in-kind donations of consumable items for events and projects with a total value of about $1,000.

Also, the resolution included a $47,587 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation used for paving at Garlo preserve, and a $7,900 grant from Ohio History Connection Community Historic Preservation Fund for future use in a historic properties registry and mapping project.

The board also reviewed a final version of bylaws changes, and is to consider approving the changes at its next meeting, and approved a public records policy.

In her written report, Executive Director Sarah Betts reported renovations at the new office almost are complete, and technical and communications services are being arranged.

A Kubota RTV has been purchased, and training is scheduled for March.

The district has received official confirmation that it received a $20,509 NatureWorks grant for the purchase and installation of a vault toilet at Forrest Nature Preserve.

She said the district received a $300 donation in honor of Carl and Joann Miller and Jerry and Joni Faeth from Julia Faeth-Martin to be used for two memorial boardwalk planks at Garlo preserve.

Betts said she attended a meeting to review input on a preliminary proposed plan from CT Consultants for the park district to join the rest of the county in a contract for comprehensive, strategic and master planning.

She said she and Program Director Linda Rose met with personnel from the Franciscan Earth Literacy Center to finalize a brochure for the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist class to be offered this fall. Following approval of the brochure by the state program, cooperative advertising is to begin.

Betts said she gave a presentation to Fostoria Kiwanis with Roy Zinn and Jim Bailey, and she attended the Farm Bureau spring meeting.

She said she also attended a Sandusky River Access Committee meeting in Fremont. The group’s purpose is to gather ideas for topics such as future access to the Sandusky River and its tributaries, economic development related to future usage, planning for environmental impacts and similar topics.

She and Rose attended the Ohio Parks & Recreation Association annual conference.

The board is to meet at 8:30 a.m. March 13 in the conference room of the RTA Building downtown.