Parks commission takes no action on executive director
The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission is still looking for an executive director.
The commission met in executive session for approximately 16 minutes Tuesday, July 20, to discuss hiring an executive director before returning to the public session. Commissioner Scott Bardin then announced that the commission would take no action on hiring an executive director at the meeting.
The executive session to address hiring an executive director was the only item of business on the commission’s agenda, but interim director Scott Miskiel did deliver a lengthy director’s report. Miskiel said he received a lot of good news over the past six hours, starting with the results from the core sampling at Basin Park.
“I spoke with the engineer. He was pleasantly surprised with what he found from the core samples,” Miskiel said. “He said our biggest problem is just the gaps in the concrete, which has allowed water to infiltrate over time.”
Miskiel said the engineer likely will recommend resurfacing the area with a special type of concrete that pulls the surface together and keeps it from separating as cracks form in the concrete. Miskiel said he had worried the commission would have to spend “tens of thousands of dollars in excavation.”
“In reality, all of that underground stuff that would’ve been so expensive and not visible … we’re going to be able to just do away with,” Miskiel said. “The fix becomes a brand-new surface, and so, to me, that’s great news.”
Commissioner Dave Hartmann asked if that would raise the level of the park and Miskiel said it would by about four inches.
“We would have to work that out, but that’s minor compared to all the excavation and other things I was imagining,” Miskiel said.
Another thing he was excited to learn, Miskiel said, is that the gazebo at East Mountain Overlook was repainted at cost. The person who was doing the job, Miskiel said, threw in their labor for free.
“So, in essence, we’re going to pay for the paint,” Miskiel said. “I thank him very much. I was there half an hour ago and it looks very nice.”
Miskiel said the pavilion restoration at Lake Leatherwood City Park is well on its way, with the timber framing finished.
“We still need the roof on it, which is supposed to be done next week,” Miskiel said. “That project should be completely done in a couple of weeks. It looks amazing. I’m really glad we did that.”
Miskiel said he’s been working to address the feral hog situation with parks employee Sam Dudley. He and Dudley spent a full day at Lake Leatherwood City Park with an Arkansas Game and Fish representative, Miskiel said.
“Unfortunately, our pigs seem to know that they can stay in the little hollows and steep areas and the traps you’ve already voted to have us sell just can’t be set up in those areas,” Miskiel said. “The pig break trap we purchased just came in and we’ll be trying that over the next week or two. I’m optimistic about that.”
There’s an issue with septic backup at Lake Leatherwood City Park, Miskiel said.
“It’s something that we’ve hopefully gotten cleaned out,” Miskiel said. “We may have to do some digging and revise that situation a little bit.”
Miskiel said he interviewed an architect and engineering firm to help put together a site plan, which would be the first step toward a complete master plan for Lake Leatherwood City Park. That would include some work at Harmon Park, Miskiel said.
“They’re also going to give us a proposal for the railing … at the dam,” Miskiel said. “They said hopefully by the end of the week we’ll have a proposal.”
Miskiel added that he recently received updated financial statements that accurately reflect the commission’s income and expenditures. Bardin said the commission is in a position where the revenue meets the projected income and expenditures are under budget.
“So we’re holding our own and we’re meeting budget and our income is up,” Bardin said.
Miskiel said he’s still working to improve the format of the financials.
“These will definitely improve by the time you next see a set of them,” he said.
The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, at The Auditorium.