City looks to improve two local parks

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
An empty swing set blows in the wind Wednesday afternoon at the Third Street park. The City of Fort Scott plans to add a half-court basketball court to the park as well as new playground equipment to Fisher Park. The projects, if approved by the Fort Scott City Commission during their Sept. 7 meeting, would be completed this fall. (Tribune photo/Michael Pommier)

After having several pieces of playground equipment removed as a result of a 2009 insurance audit, the City of Fort Scott is looking to improve the condition of two local parks.

According to Fort Scott Director of Finance Susan Brown, the city is planning on installing new playground equipment at Fisher Park on Main Street as well as install a a half-court basketball court at the Third Street Park.

During Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission, Brown asked the commissioners to approved the publication of notice for a public hearing during the Sept. 7 meeting regarding an amendment to the 2011 budget which would allow for the purchase of the equipment and materials. The commission approved the request.

According to Brown, the special parks and recreation fund receives allocations from the local liquor tax, which is then used to help fund projects to improve local parks. She said that for several years, the city has been allowing that fund to accumulate with the anticipation of making the improvements to Fisher Park and Third Street Park.

Brown said that the amendment for consideration will allow the city to use those funds. The proposed amendment would allow $50,000 of expenditures from the special parks and recreation fund rather than the originally adopted $36,917. The money is already available in the budget and the amendment will give the city the authority to use it, she said, and the mill levy will not be affected.

During the same public hearing, a second budget amendment will be considered which would allow the city to use money from the rate stabilization fund the repairs to the spillway at Lake Fort Scott, repairs to Shelter House No. 1, and renovations to the new City Hall location.