STEUBENVILLE - A proposed fence at the western boundary of Belleview Park that overlooks a valley was politely opposed Wednesday night by City Engineer Michael Dolak.
"I know you have considered a fence along the ledge area but I have concerns about it. That area was formerly a dump site for large boulders and concrete debris. We would have to install fence posts at least 3 feet into the ground for a 5-foot tall chain-link fence. There is a good chance the installers would run into some of those boulders," Dolak told recreation board members at their monthly meeting.
"I also think grass maintenance along a fence would be an issue. We moved the walking path back 30 to 60 feet from the ledge when we designed the park to keep people from walking to the edge of that ledge," Dolak added.
PROPOSED FENCE PLANS — Sandi Rue, chairperson of the Steubenville Parks and Recreation Board, listened Wednesday evening to City Engineer Michael Dolak explain his opposition to a fence at the western end of Belleview Park. - Dave Gossett
The engineer did recommend installation of a fence around the playground areas.
"Those playgrounds should have had a nice type of fence installed when they were built. There should only be one way in or out so kids can be at the playground and parents don't have to worry about their children wandering off," suggested Dolak.
Board member Jason Jenkins said he is still in favor of a fence near the ledge "because of liability issues if just one person gets too close to the edge."
Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall said he will discuss the issue with City Manager Cathy Davison.
Councilman at Large Kenny Davis asked Dolak to consider raising the curb near the gazebo to prevent people from parking on the grass.
"There shouldn't be vehicles on the grass. And I am afraid if the ground is wet and soft someone may get too close to the edge and have a problem," Davis said.
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Angela Suggs asked the recreation board to consider improvements at the North End Park.
"We have looked at the lighting at the North End Park and we are on the list for Community Development Block Grant funds for new lighting there. I agree we need to take care of the North End Park and Beatty Park now that we have finished the work at Belleview Park," responded Kirkendall.
Suggs also asked if signage can be placed on the North End field fence to raise funds for future improvements.
Jenkins asked Kirkendall to look at drainage issues at the North End Park and Field 4 at Belleview Park.
"When it rains the entire North End ballfield is covered in water. And the third base side of Field 4 doesn't drain properly. Maybe we can work on the grade of those fields to improve the water drainage," said Jenkins.
And Jenkins announced 9-year-old Anna Taylor of Richmond will compete in the Ohio Pitch, Hit and Run competition at Progressive Field during the Cleveland Indians Saturday home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"Anna won our local Pitch, Hit and Run competition and then won the regional competition in Struthers. If she wins Saturday night in Cleveland she will move on to the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Kansas," explained Jenkins.
In other business, the recreation board approved several facility requests including;
A walk for Life on Sept. 22 at Jim Wood Park sponsored by the AIM Women's Center.
A recycling event on Tuesday at Belleview Park by the JB Green Team.
A PrimeTime Cardiac Rehab picnic on Aug. 14 at Belleview Park.
A fundraiser for the Pam Shoemaker family on July 28 at Belleview Park sponsored by Anthony Simmons.
A United Peace Movement community cookout on July 8 at the North End ball field.
A buddy walk on Oct. 6 at Jim Wood Park by the Ohio Valley Down Syndrome Support Group.
The recreation board will not meet in July.