The Sterling Recreation Center is preparing to open the outdoor pool on Memorial Day, but it and/or the indoor pool may be open for a few fewer hours this summer as there simply isn’t enough staff to keep it open seven days a week be.
At a meeting of the Parks, Library and Recreation Board on Monday, PLR Director Wadee Gandee told the board they may have to cut hours at one of the pools to give lifeguards at least a day off. There are currently 17 lifeguards enlisted for the summer session, and the Rec Center hopes to train eight more by May 23 for a total of 25. 10 lifeguards are required to operate both pools at the same time.
“To keep a few shifts and then still give them days off, we could try to close the indoor pool most days except for laps, and the outdoor pool may be closed on Mondays and/or Tuesdays,” Gandee said.
Sterling’s newest walking trail, The Veterans Walkway, is located at 1370 W. Main Street behind the University of Napa and was unveiled last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by The City of Sterling, University of Napa, Northeastern Junior College , American Legion Post 20, VFW Post 3541 and Media Logic Radio. (Callie Jones/Sterling Journal Attorney)
Tracy Glissmann asked if that meant they would try to limit outside groups like daycare and summer programs. They don’t plan to do that, Recreation Superintendent Monty Waite said these groups have gotten good over the past few years at contacting the Rec Center and seeing what days work best for the center so the groups don’t get along with each other compete and so far none of the groups have chosen Monday or Tuesday this year.
It’s not just lifeguards that the PLR department struggles with; Gandee said they also struggled to get other seasonal help. Parks, Cemetery and Forestry Superintendent Jamie Ulrich has only received four applications for his open positions.
The Rec Center is working on getting the outdoor pool ready, water is already in the pool and almost everything is up and running. Waite shared that some of the light poles were damaged by the wind so new lights are being installed. Insurance covered the cost of this and has also recently helped rebuild slides, replace tarpaulins that were torn and replace damaged shade structures.
“We were very lucky,” Gandee said.
Crews worked hard Tuesday, May 10, 2022 to improve the parking lot at Sterling Recreation Center. (Callie Jones/Sterling Journal Advocate)
The parking lot project has also started. The area that was dirt around the islands is being removed and the curb is being laid onto the concrete, widening the car park by approximately 4 feet on each side. The extra space is needed to allow longer vehicles to maneuver better.
However, there was some unfortunate news about swimming lessons. The fourth session has just ended, it went very well and was very well attended, but Waite said they will probably not be able to offer swimming lessons until August because the instructor who teaches the youngsters how to give swimming lessons died Broken back and is in traction and again unable to teach until mid-July.
“We’re trying to figure that out, I’m trying to find someone to come out and teach the kids how to do that,” Waite said.
Later in the meeting, the Board of Directors entered a board meeting to discuss the Rec Center’s SilverSneaker contract. After the executive session, the board recommended keeping the contract unchanged for this year. Gandee said they will negotiate throughout the year to reach better terms for the rec center and if a better agreement cannot be reached, they will seek to terminate the agreement next May.
At the beginning of the meeting, he mentioned a new walking trail, The Veterans Walkway, located at 1370 W. Main Street behind the University of Napa, which was dedicated last week with a ribbon average designed by the City of Sterling, University of Napa, Northeastern Junior College , was held. American Legion Post 20, VFW Post 3541 and Media Logic Radio.
Gandee told the board he is looking at how other cities handle trail takeover, how they let people take sections of trails and what they would agree to cleaning or maintenance, etc. When he has something put together, he will bring it to the board .
“I think it’s a nice idea and some people have been talking about it, some different groups have been asking about it,” he said.
Gandee doesn’t have an official written agreement with the group that made The Veterans Walkway because he doesn’t know if they want to take over the entire section of the walkway from Main to Platte Street or just the part they remade.
Glissmann asked if there had to be a certain number of feet on the trails to acquire. Gandee said they will have found a measurable amount or a specific section of the trail.
“Sort of like street cleaning,” he said.
Gandee also shared that letters were sent to property owners along the Westview Drive portion of the multi-use trail, urging them to have all items at the back of homes in an area the property owners have been using as an alleyway by March 31 .so the city can begin work on this section of the trail. However, work may be delayed as the city is still trying to find a surveyor to come out and mark the property line.
During department updates, Gandee reported that Movies in the Park will return on Tuesdays in June. Movies will be shown June 7th at Wisdom Park, June 14th at Pioneer Park Softball Fields, June 21st at Columbine Park and June 28th at Wisdom Park. There will be a barbecue at the first and last film.
In addition, the PLR Division will be hosting its annual Fishing Is Fun Derby at Kiwanis Fishing Pond on Saturday, June 4th and kicking off the Parks and Recreation Month celebrations on July 11th.
Overland Trail Museum curator Kay Rich reported that planning for the heritage festival is going great, while some are disappointed that it will be held at Pioneer Park instead of the Museum of the Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association game, most are pretty excited.
The Fourth of July celebrations span four days.
On Friday, July 1st, the Logan County Courthouse will feature a backyard barbecue, beer garden and July Jamz concert with Rusty 44. The following day features the Art of Barbecue Competition, Heritage on the Plains Beer and Wine Fest and live entertainment in historic downtown Sterling. Sunday activities include Church in the Park hosted by Sterling Foursquare at 10am, the Heritage Festival with opening ceremonies at 11am and the baseball game at 12pm and on Monday 4th July a fireworks display begins at dusk at the Pioneer Park.
Rich also shared that the Talking Trail signs were installed at the museum. The free mobile app shares history, heritage and culture with listeners in an audio tour format. You don’t have to be in the museum to use the app.
Sterling Public Library Superintendent Sandy VanDusen reported that they are preparing for the summer reading program, registration begins May 23. Also, May 18-21 is the Friends of SPL Used Book Sale at the Logan County Fairgrounds.
Ulrich also reported that his crews are preparing for Memorial Day at Riverside Cemetery and have completed planting trees for the year. They planted 33 trees, mostly on the Third Avenue islands, because the ash trees there had died and needed to be removed. They were replaced with Prairie Fire Crabapple, Greenspire Linden, Bradford Pear, a few buckeyes, and they tried an Ohio buckeye to see if it would do better than the other trees there.