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Park & Rec approves badges
darlington city hall

DARLINGTON – The Darlington Park & Rec met on Wednesday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. to prepare for the 2021 outdoor sports season.

Badges for the Dora Ritter Wellness Center (DRWC) have been discussed at several meeting throughout the past three years and the item came up again. The badges are to be worn so members can be identified (thereby non-members can also be identified) in the facility.

DRWC Director Amy Prine said, “At the last meeting I was asked to bring badges back to this meeting. I’ve gotten two bids, IMaker ($4,450) I presented at a past meeting and a new company EZBadges ($1,830). I talked with EZBadges and they seemed very easy to work with, they also include more materials then the other company. They can be printed on both sides. Some of you may not know we currently have key tags that we scan in for insurance purposes and that tag can be put on the other side of the badges.

Committee member Aaron Wolfe said, “I guess I feel the same way about badges. I think it will be a lot of work for you Amy and I don’t think it will solve our problem. It may help, but I don’t know if it will help enough. If you want to give it a shot go ahead.”

Chair Ray Spellman asked, “Do you want these Amy and do you think it will help?”

Prine answered, “I think it would help in monitoring the gym. I don’t know who these kids are.”

Committee member Mary Jane Sturtz said, “I think it would help a lot, especially since you’re (Amy) the only employee we have right now.”

Committee member Leah Gollmer asked, “What’s your main reason to have these badges. Is it if you have a gym full of kids, you can go up to them and ask to see their badges or the whole place?”

Prine sad, “It would be for the whole building, but it would be more helpful in the gym.”

Gollmer said, “So if someone doesn’t have their badge they will be asked to leave?”

Prine: “Yes.”

Discussion regarding the scanning tags was held.

A motion by committee member Stu Vanstad and a second by committee member Jill Ringen to purchase and implement the EZBadge ID badge system at a cost of $1,830 was made. Voice vote approved the motion with one no vote from Wolfe.

Wellness Center Opening

In April the hours will be extended until 8:00 p.m. Gym will be open for sign ups on April1.

20 members cancelled, 13 new memberships signed up.

Wolfe asked, “Are we still opening up memberships without the time slots on May 1? If that needs to change, then we should talk about that now because out next meeting will be a couple of days before the May 1 date.”

Discussion ensued.

After discussion the committee decided to wait until April 28 to bring it up at that time.

In other business:

•Approved scheduling an alternate spring flag football season. Last years flag football season was cancelled due to covid, so Recreation and Parks Director Wade Berget wants to schedule an abbreviated six week flag football season April 19 thru May 24. The program will be scaled back – no jerseys and a reduced cost at $10. Game day is yet to be determined, but Berget is wanting to have it on the traditional Saturday mornings.

•Approved hiring summer employees for park mowers; park maintenance; recreation programs; 11 lifeguards; Molly Wiegel as pool manager, scheduler and instructor; 2 concession stand workers. Sturtz and Scott Heinberg abstained. This will go to the city council for final approval.

•The committee discussed replacing a mower for the upcoming season. Two bids were received: K&L Bobcat - $5,533 and Ritchie Implement - $7,750, both included with trade-in allowance. Very little discussion took place, a motion was made and approved to purchase the mower from K&L Bobcat. This will go to the city council for final approval.

•Approved Monson Septic to provide portable bathrooms for the season, for Black Bridge Park and one extra for the campgrounds. Two bids were received – Monson Septic – $1,050 and Bullseye Portable – $1,040.

•Approved the Summer Program booklet, not many changes from the 2019 season. Swimming pool lessons have changed and the golf clinic cancelled.

•Approved donations of two benches. One to be placed in the Veterans Park, near the Methodist church in memory of Rev. Phillip Burt, donated by Greg Burt. The other one at the ballpark in city field in memory of Slade Norton, donated by Amy Crist.