City park officials had a successful summer season, despite some unfavorable weather.
Union Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Arand said the Splash-N-Swinplex attendance was down this year, mostly due to unseasonably cool weather at the pool opening.
“The weather conditions when we first opened up were cold,” he said. “There were other days through the summer that had storms — overall it was a down year.”
Arand noted that there were many positives during the pool sea son.
“When we were going strong we had great crowds,” he said. “There were no maintenance issues.
“The pool management, guards and other staff did a great job,” Arand added.
Poor weather also dampened the attendance at Founders Day, according to Arand.
“There was a major storm that hit the night before, and there was the threat of a storm that day,” he said.
Although there were many people who attended the event, participation was down compared to previous years, Arand explained.
One highlight of the event was a three-on-three basketball tournament held at Union Middle School in conjunction with Founders Day.
“We had a great turnout and we are going to grow on the success of that and add other activities,” Arand said.
He said there is talk of a tennis tournament, or other competitions next year.
“We are looking at activities to add to keep this a family-oriented day,” Arand said.
Arand noted that there were covers added to some shelters that did not have a roof, and pavilion and other shelters that were worn were replaced.
“This gave a more universal look throughout the park system,” Arand said.
Crews also replaced damaged fencing at the softball complex located off of East Park Road.
Arand said plans to install a gazebo in the city lake have been put on hold.
“We have the gazebo, but we are looking at options to put it in the lake, or on land next to the lake,” he said.
He explained that the company who made the dock for the gazebo has gone out of business.
The city is working to get a refund for the dock, but the company has not returned phone calls, Arand said.
Arand noted that the department is planting trees to replace those that were removed.
“We are removing our dead trees in the park due to our drought conditions last year,” he said. “We will continue to replace trees throughout the parks system in strategic areas to benefit the areas needed.
“The trees planted at the lake a couple of years ago are starting to come around,” Arand added.
Crews also are working to upgrade park facilities and continue maintenance “as cost-effective as possible,” he said.
“This year we are looking at repairs as we get the new park (Veterans Memorial Park) going,” Arand said. “We can’t neglect what we have now.”
He said there will be repairs and upgrades to the main city park restrooms, exercise equipment and signage.
There also are plans to refurbish walking rails at Autumn Hill Park, the city lake and the main park.