|Parks Advisory Board Interested in Part-Time Park Ranger|
|Written by Website Editor|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2013 00:00|
It may be the middle of winter, but the Parks Advisory Board is interested in planting a seed with Tipp City Council of the need for a park ranger.
Board member Doug Slagel, who previously had mentioned his interest in the board pursuing a ranger position, brought a more detailed proposal before the board Jan. 14.
He read a letter he’d composed and provided information on the city of Sidney’s part-time ranger arrangement.
Slagel said the parks use continues to grow by community members, people from other Miami Valley areas and beyond.
“Due to these increasing interests in our local parks, coupled with some past troubles, a part-time park ranger is now becoming a necessity for our community,” Slagel said.
Unauthorized use of park facilities, such as out of town groups scheduling tournaments on city fields without permission and required arrangements through Tipp Monroe Community Services, is not a new topic for the board.
Other issues have included people using picnic shelters without reservations, then refusing to leave for those with the reservation; people using park property for sports lessons for which they are charging a fee; parking in grass despite no parking signs; vandalism of restrooms; and graffiti.
Slagel said the proposal was not for a ranger for this year, but something he’d like to see in the next few years. “We need to get council to start to look at this,” he said.
Board Chairman Pat Hodges agreed.
“The problems we are encountering will get worse. We have people using parks without permission. I think it would be a great part-time position for the city to have,” he said.
The estimated cost of a part-time seasonal position, based on the Sidney pay of $21 to $25.49 per hour without benefits, would be $18,000 to $20,000 a year.
Jim Asher, city service superintendent, said with all the activities going on in parks, it would be beneficial to have a ranger for safety, scheduling, ensuring people using by- reservation facilities have the proper letter and so forth. The greatest need for a ranger would be in Kyle and City parks, he said.
He receives more and more calls each year from groups in area communities wanting to hold events or practice on city fields, Asher said.
The ranger, Hodges said, could be a liaison between the city, Community Services and the police department.
Board member Pam Hale said the board would need specific examples to show the need for the position to council. Member Kelly Gillis suggested the board document for a year “what we have encountered, to make a good argument.”
Asher said council needs to be aware of the board’s interest in a ranger now. More detailed information could be provided in summer when the next year’s budget process begins, he said.
The board approved Hodges’ motion to send council Slagel’s letter along with the information on the Sidney ranger position.