County park board approves rental rates, new job descriptions

Seneca County Park District’s board approved a rental fee schedule and job descriptions for two new positions at its meeting Tuesday.

Executive Director Sarah Betts said the district will start advertising for a naturalist and assistant nature preserve manager this fall and hopes to have people hired in January. She said the naturalist will work in public education and the assistant would work with Nature Preserve Manager Troy Gibson.

The rental fee schedule is for facilities available for rent for events. Rentals are sunrise to sunset, except the Roppe Lodge, which is available 8 a.m.-midnight. Fees are:

• Fruth Center shelter house, which includes picnic tables and charcoal grills, $50.

• Fruth Center, Roppe Lodge, which includes kitchen, restrooms, electricity, heat/AC and a covered patio, $300 Friday-Sunday, $175 Monday-Thursday and $100 Monday-Thursday for nonprofit organizations.

• Tiffin University Nature Preserve gazebo, with picnic tables, $25.

Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve shelter, with picnic tables, electricity, charcoal grill and vault restroom, $50.

• Events in other park areas, $50 for less than 50 people and $75 for 50-100 people.

Anyone who want to use park properties for an event other than those listed must complete a special use permit application for consideration. Fees and charges may vary.

For more information or to make reservations, contact the office at (419) 447-8091.

Also Tuesday, the board assigned the Strategic Planning Committee to move ahead with plans for a new logo.

Betts said the committee plans to meet later this month with professionals logo designers to get started. After proposed logos are designed, she said they will be taken back to the entire board.

The board also approved a research agreement funded by a grant with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding water quality issues at Garlo preserve. Betts said the ponds at Garlo have algae issues and the Army Corps plans to research the topic and make recommendations.

Board members also approved supplemental appropriation increase for the preschool accounts of $4,000 for salaries, $100 for Medicare and $600 for PERS, and heard first-round budget recommendations from the staff.

In her report, Betts noted the donation of a replica spinning wheel, crafted by Clayton C. Beier, by Patricia A. (Beier) Distel. She also said the district has offered 271 programs with 4,405 participants so far this year. In September, 1,084 people took part in 42 programs.

In his report, Gibson said the water distribution system is complete at Steyer Nature Preserve, including relocation of the previous failing system. He said construction of a mechanical room with walls, insulation and heat is planned to be completed prior to freezing temperatures.

He said an ADA-compliant concrete ramp has been installed to the entrance of the Forrest Nature Preserve restroom.

The oil well at Clinton Nature Preserve has been closed, and the trail has been reopened, he said.

Cabin porches and wheelchair ramps at Garlo preserve were power washed and stained prior to Autumnfest.

Gibson said security cameras and estimates are being explored for possibilities at preserves.

He said gutters and downspouts have been installed and he is awaiting completion of a concrete floor in the storage building at Bowen Nature Preserve, and a stone drive is complete in front of the new storage building at Garlo.

He said work has begun on the paver/kiosk project at the entrance to Garlo preserve.