Waddell Park gets $65K in upgrades, including dog park

NILES — Various improvements and additions were made at Waddell Park last year from a $67,500 state grant — and some money was left over.

Park director Bob Burke told the city’s park / recreation board at the January meeting that $65,659 was used. He said the improvements and additions were done based on a survey of Niles residents on what they wanted to see or have at the city’s largest park.

Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz said previously the city had received more than 750 surveys.

The projects completed were a dog park with signs, fencing, screen barrier and hoop, $8,037; sealing of center parking lot, $5,350; sealing of playground area, $2,275; cabin floor improvements, $6,750; large pavilion concrete repairs, $1,625, and relocation of electric breaker box, $750; new playground equipment, including seesaw, swing and musical equipment, and more security cameras added, $6,895; snow goose cherry trees at park entrance, $1,750; new signs, including replacing the “Welcome to Niles” sign within the park, $6,655; and a park bench, $511.

“The dog park has been a great addition. Residents who don’t have fences really enjoy the open area to let their dogs run their energy off. The playground equipment has been used a lot since added. We have heard from residents they enjoy them,” Burke said.

The $67,500 grant was obtained by the city more than three years ago and had to be used by 2019 or the city would have lost the money. The grant was awarded to support renovation or any improvements to Waddell Park.

While the grant money could only be used at Waddell, the surveys will be used as guides for projects and improvements at other city parks as money becomes available, the mayor said.

Besides Waddell, city parks are Stevens, Kennedy, Murphy, Iowa / Southside, Camrose and Circle.

In other action, the park board:

∫ Tabled for further review the pay of the two facility managers at the wellness center. Burke said one manager works four days per week and the other three days per week;

∫ Heard from Burke lights have been replaced to enhance the soccer fields and parking lot;

∫ Announced a health fair in conjunction with the McKinley Memorial Library 1 to 4 p.m. March 14 at the wellness center;

∫ Set meetings at 4:15 p.m. the second Tuesdays of the month at the wellness center.