It was a brief, 15-minute meeting for Sedalia Park Board members Thursday at the Heckart Community Center, with Roy Poynter and Dan Van Dyne absent, as well as Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple.

In Epple's place was Recreation Supervisor Jaymi Wells, who presided over the meeting, along with Board President Jerry Case.

It was noted that the Splash Pad at Hubbard back is now up & running again, after downtime caused by electrical issues. The pad took a hit from a storm on May 27. Parts were ordered and workers had the splash pad open again June 13. A fenced-off area adjacent to the pad contains all the pumps and pipes necessary to make the splash pad work.

Under new business, the Board accepted a $16,722.86 bid for a John Deere mower with a 72-inch deck. The mower is being purchased through a Missouri state procurement program.

Two recumbent step bikes were purchased at a cost of $14,301. According to Wells, the Heckart Center already has two such pieces of equipment, but are in constant use, with some members have to wait up to 30 minutes for them to be freed up so they can use it. The step bikes are great for those who have had knee replacements and also for cardio workouts, she noted.

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Wells also noted that Smithton High School held their “project graduation” at the Heckart in May. “They were very impressed with our facilities and found it much easier to use our facility, as opposed to using the school, or traveling to 'Main Event' in Kansas City,” she said.

Wells also complimented Rena Vinson Norman for putting together “National Senior Health & Fitness Day” she said. “It was a great day to socialize with our seniors and host mini-seminars on different health topics from local professionals.”

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According to a report from Assistant Director Courtney Fry, peak times at the Heckart Center are at 8 a.m., and 5 p.m., with check-in times tracked throughout the day. In May, there were 17,140 check-ins at the Heckart.

In Jeff Coleman's (superintendent of Maintenance) report, he stated that his staff worked hard to get Liberty Pool open by May 25, adding that parts from the now-closed Centennial Pool were utilized at Liberty Pool. Parts are hard to find, Coleman said, and when they do find them, they are cost-prohibitive.

Centennial Park has hosted many baseball and softball tournaments, with the latest tournament hosting 36 teams in one weekend.

Recent excessive rain has made it hard to manage the algae in the big cement pond at Liberty. “The issue is we simply cannot put very much algae controller in the lake at one time, because it may harm the fish,” he said in his report. “We monitor the lake very closely and strive to keep it looking nice.”

As for hiring enough maintenance staff, Coleman said “We are struggling in our most busy time of year. Staff has taken on many extra roles to cover the voids we have experienced,” he said.

Coleman's staff repainted the interior of the Convention Hall fountain for the summer season. “This fall we will have to have it sandblasted and cracks repaired inside of it to ensure its function for next year,” he said in his report. “We planned on getting it done this spring, but the sandblaster contractor was not able to meet the deadline, so we had to move forward.”

Staff has been working on playground repairs with several parts ordered waiting for their arrival, Coleman said. High usage after school let out for the summer has resulted in more damage to equipment. “Some of our playgrounds are aging out and parts are very expensive to maintain,” he said.

Matt Harris, Parks Project manager, said in his report that he has been meeting with playground contractors for new playground equipment at Liberty Park.

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He also met with contractors reference installing security cameras at Liberty Stadium and Liberty Park.

Harris also received bids on removing the old pool at Hubbard Park, as well as playground equipment.

In her aquatics report, Clara Boehm said that Liberty Pool has been quite busy since opening May 25. And extra lifeguard was added for the time period from 1 to 3:30 p.m. There are also two pool managers now instead of just one.

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