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Darlington Park & Rec discusses shelter house, basketball court and flag football
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DARLINGTON – The Tuesday, Feb. 28 the Park & Rec meeting of the City of Darlington was called to order by Don Osterday, chairman, at 6:00 p.m. Leah Gollmer, new member of the committee, was welcomed.
Shelter House
    Steve Pickett, representing the Darlington Lions, presented the committee with an artist’s conception of a proposed shelter house. Pickett said he had tentative approval from the DNR, he stated they gave him approval via a phone conversation and he is now waiting for a confirmation letter. The DNR involvement is because the proposed building site is in the Darlington Festival Grounds, which is located in the flood zone. The proposed building will be similar the Lions Shelter (30’ x 50’) located behind Piggly Wiggly at the City Ball field.
    Pickett is accepting all suggestions as to exactly where the shelter will be located and the size of the structure. He has spoken to Cindy Corley, Canoe Fest representative and Tony Ruesga, Cinco de Mayo representative for their input. A couple ideas where floated as to the exact location. Pickett orally described his current thoughts on where the structure would be located, but this reporter couldn’t ascertain exactly where he wanted to place the building. The base is planned to be concrete. The electrical will be in the roof to avoid issues with floods.
Basketball Court
    Wade Berget, Park & Rec department head, spoke with the company that previously sealed the basketball court located near Sieg Field. The city asked for a bid and the company passed. The issue is large cracks that have appeared in the asphalt court. They thought after they filled and sealed the court, those cracks would reappear. The company said if they were to reconstruct the entire court, a rough estimate would be $15,000 - $20,000.
    Osterday said, “Well that takes away one of the options. I was hoping to squeeze another three to four years out of the current surface. The asphalt underneath is twenty-five year old and has become dried and brittle and is cracking up.” He continued, “It looks like we’re heading to replacing the blacktop on the whole thing.” The committee also discussed the tile court option.
Flag Football
    Berget has decided to hold back from going to the NFL Flag Football program. Volunteers and the time switch were cited as reasons for not changing. He might bring it back at a later time.
    This year the Flag Football program will stay on Wednesday evenings, it will go from a traditional format to 8 on 8 football. The price will remain at $10, same cost as last year. Third and fourth grade will be separated from the fifth and sixth grade. Two fields will be set up at Black Bridge Park and games will run simultaneously. Berget will schedule rain out for Sunday afternoon to see how that goes. He will look into getting sponsors for the program so the kids will get a jersey. A motion was made and approved to adopt Bergets plan.
    In Other Business:
    •Approved 2017 summer employment positions recommendations by Berget.
    •Discussed the Pecatonica River Trails Park campgrounds and discussed a policy of extended stay campers. The approved policy is a camper is allowed to camp for 14 days in 21 days.
    •Approved portable restrooms for the summer  from Bullseye Portable Restrooms from Browntown for $884.
    •Approved to allow Berget to send the Summer Brochure to the printers.
    •Update on the dodgeball program. Berget says it’s going really well, with 60 kids participating. Only one more week left in the season.