A newly created Parks and Recreation Department will have a couple of key sets of decisions in the months to come. One involves the timing for repairs and improvements to the Arena already agreed to conceptually by City Council. Projects like roof replacement will pose logitical problems as the facility will not be useable for periods during whatever year the work is done.
A new study on pool conditions also begs for decisions. It's not just a question of what is done for repairs, but whether water-based recreation should be changed, perhaps replacing one traditional pool with a spray park and other activities.
Parks and recreation activities had been a part of the Public Works Department , which provided a greater pool of staff to accomplish things, but also may have subordinated the goal of recreation to other functions of DPW. A variety of internal problems prompted Council to reconstitute the department and restructure its oversight.
That reorganization is in process right now, with management hirings possible next month. In the meantime, traditional activities have continued, including the three pools, and the Department's interim boss John VanBrocklin will soon be readying for winter sports with the laying of ice at the Arena.
With reports now completed on the pools and the arena, more informed decisions can take place.
Watertown Daily Times Consultants suggest replacing Thompson Park pool, repairing two others