Newton Parks Superintendent Nathan Unsworth will have a busy spring and summer. Since last fall, the Fred Maytag Bowl in Maytag Park received major renovations.
“It is slated to be completed before graduation (of Newton schools), “ Unsworth said. “There are electrical repairs being done, and there is a new paint job being completed on that.”
These updates will be featured during the park’s summer concerts.
“We will have the summer concert series at the Bowl this summer,” Unsworth said. “We hope to bring back a variety of acts. A lot of stuff (concert acts) have not been set yet.”
Another major project is the renovation of the soccer fields. National Area Soccer Association has donated a large amount to help reduce the cost of a water reel for the city.
“NASA is donating $4,500 towards that project,” Unsworth said. “We are also going to repair some soccer fields. We have one field tore up right now, and will be reseeding that this spring. We are going to till it up one more time to get it prepared. We will be working on the other soccer fields as well.”
The parks department will also be aerating the soccer fields to allow grass to continue to grow.
A major event for the Parks Department is the Fourth of July Fireworks Show. Although the show brings in crowds, many only stay for the event and leave. Potentially, it can be a major money maker if done right. The Newton Park Board is working hard to expand the event.
“The park board will be starting a fundraiser for that soon,” Unsworth said. “We are looking to change the location of it to Agnes Patterson Park, but we are not sure of it yet. We maybe adding some more events to the fireworks show as well.”
Unsworth is not sure if the event will be as big as Thunder Nites, but he is open to the possibility of it becoming that big.
“It’s in a very initial stage right now, but the sky is the limit,” Unsworth said. “Most of that will be handled by park board.”
In order to have a better understanding of citizens needs, the park board will be handing out surveys this month.
“That will help dictate some projects and planning,” Unsworth said. “We are hoping to get more of a plan in place for future improvements. We really do not have a roadmap right now, so we are trying to get a roadmap of where we would like to go.”
In addition to addressing park concerns, the department must also address snow removal. Because the council consolidated departments, the parks department maybe asked to help with snow removal.
For Unsworth it is not a big issue. The parks department’s slow season is winter, and the consolidation means that park resources can be better used for the city.
There will also be a price changes for Fred Maytag Pool season pass. In order to combat the rising prices of maintenance, the pool prices will now be the following:
One person pass: $55
Two person pass: $110
Three person pass: $150
Four person pass: $180
Five-seven person pass: $200-$280
Another change will be pool hours open to the public. Starting Aug. 1st, the pool will close at 5 p.m. everyday, but will be available for use for private parties.
Golf fees also went up this year, and the new rates are the following:
Weekday 18-holes: $23 nine-holes: $20, senior rate: $18, junior $14.
Weekend 18-holes: $30, nine-holes: $25, senior and junior $20.
Carts are $16 per person for 18 holes and $10 per person for nine holes.
The parks department also bought new golf carts last year, and Unsworth said that there are potential projects that the funds generated by the increased prices could be used for.
Shelter fees also increased this year.
“The West Shelter increased from $20 to $30,” Unsworth said. “Woodland Shelter increased by $5. Those are our two most popular shelters and the nicest shelters. We try to give a range of prices that are shared to give more people options.”
The reason on the increase is do to the fact that some shelters have bathrooms closer to them.
Geisler and Pickens Pool Pavilion rooms will now be rented as one unit. The department noticed that a majority of people renting them choose to rent both shelters.