Park Board reviews Gomsrud concepts

FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Park Board held its meeting for September on Tuesday and during the meeting approved changes to park policies and discussed potential projects at Gomsrud Park.

Before the meeting began the board listened to comments from Beth Kloeckner, a Fairmont resident who lives near Jeffery Kot fields. She proposed installing basketball hoops at the northeast edge of the Jeffery Kot Fields parking lot.

“I think an asset to our community; we don’t have a lot of basketball hoops and it’s an area that can be utilized for anything,” said Kloeckner.

Kloeckner went own to say her neighborhood had more families with children living there and while the soccer field was busy during evening games, the space was largely vacant during the day.

Members of the board raised some safety concerns about placing a basketball court within a parking lot which could be very busy during soccer games, but also acknowledged Kloeckner’s request could be feasible.

After hearing Kloeckner’s request the board approved the agenda and heard a report from Parks and Streets Supervisor Nick Lardy.

Lardy reported work on fences at Winnebago Avenue Sports Complex was in progress and Veterans Park is next. Irrigation systems have been shut off and kayaks have been put away for the season.

Lardy also reported Ward Park had been vandalized last weekend. Vandals damaged garage doors, tables, and damaged segments of the roof. This was not been the first time Ward Park had been vandalized, and the board discussed installing security cameras but were unsure if they could be placed in areas where they couldn’t be tampered with.

Fairmont Community Education and Recreation Director Stephanie Busiahn was not present for the meeting, but left a message which said they were offering a wellness program for adults with disabilities called SOfit this fall. Busiahn also noted summer programming was well attended and highlighted their new youth bowling class which will start later this week.

The board also approved new changes to park policies. Notable changes included increased rental fees for shelter houses.

After the changes were approved the board reviewed its plans to redevelop Gomsrud Park.

The board received approximately 45 public comments on concepts for the park. It merged several concepts from the four renderings that were provided. It was shared that moving the boat ramp, as was previously discussed, wouldn’t be feasible. The

board is also considering installing infrastructure which could make the section road which runs adjacent to the park safer to cross. Board members specifically mentioned a raised median, speed bumps, crosswalks, and stop signs. The department plans to meet with architects and planners on Friday to review and revise concepts now that they’ve received public feedback.

Before the meeting concluded the board discussed the possibility of scheduling another outdoor activity and noted they are continuing to work with Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee to start a bike sharing system in Fairmont.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for October 18.


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