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Published: Wednesday, 4/9/2008

Recreation bond sale may wait until June

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The sale of bonds meant to pay for capital improvements at the facilities operated by the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District likely will wait until June, according to John Plock, fiscal officer for the group.

Mr. Plock said some of the capital markets are "dysfunctional" and that he will wait for them to settle before offering the bonds.

Although money from the bond sale may not be available as soon as once thought, the situation shouldn't have any effect on the timetable for making improvements to district facilities.

Mr. Plock said there is sufficient money in the group's budget, which can be used for early expenses and then be reimbursed with funds from the bond sale. Mr. Plock made his comments at a recent meeting of the group's board of trustees.

George France, board chairman, said committees have met, some on a weekly basis, to put together the necessary specifications for projects and to develop work schedules meant to be the least disruptive possible.

Centennial Terrace & Quarry, for instance, is slated for major changes. But not much work can be accomplished until September so that swimming and dances can go on as scheduled.

Mr. France said that board members and the district administration have been meeting with architects, engineers, and others to develop detailed specifications for each project so they can be set out for construction bids.

He said all improvements promised to voters will be done. He added that timelines have not yet been developed for each project.

The Centennial facility, which was built in 1939, will get a larger stage, be reoriented toward the southwest, and get a new dance floor. There will also be new decorative fencing around the area, and lighting and other utilities will also be upgraded.

Both the dance area and the quarry-swimming facility will have upgrades in concession and restroom structures.

Improvements are also planned at the Sports and Exposition Center at Tam-O-Shanter to include landscaping, new parking on the west side of the building, and repaving of the parking area.

Pacesetter Park will get new or improved concession and restroom facilities, and underground irrigation and drainage at its western 64-acre parcel. There also will be new playground equipment and upgrades to the baseball/softball diamonds.

Upgrades are scheduled at all of the ball diamonds operated by the recreation district at 12 school sites in the community.

Mr. France noted at the meeting that the group had committed to build a skate park in the district.

He said information is being gathered about the best site and design. Board members suggested that a site should be found where the skate park could expand.

The board approved a measure making $12,000 available for improvements to the two-story building at Memorial Field.

Ken Katafias, district general manager, said the building which has concessions and rest rooms has had a problem with flaking paint. The plan is to place siding on the building, he said. The project isn't considered part of the capital improvements to be funded by the bond issue.



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