Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The March 28 Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee was told that a nationally known artist, to be announced on March 29, will headline the city’s 2016 Fourth of July show. The committee was also updated on the status of the Gardner Golf Course and the remodeling of the senior building.
Gardner Golf Course update
Jeff Stewart, parks department, updated the committee on the how a Golf Course Master Plan is being developed.
Step one is “discovery phase.” This is the process of evaluating the course property its infrastructure, grounds and facilities.
Next is “preliminary concept design.” Contractors will develop conceptual plans for the property to present to the city.
A “feasibility study” will be done and all the above will result in a final master plan. The city will seek input from the community during the process.
Fourth of July
Chase Bryant will headline the July 4th celebration this year.
According to his webpage, Bryant blends mainstream country with an impressive set of guitar skills, and he has made a big impact on modern country music. Bryant signed his first record deal at the age of 19, and only a little over a year later, the Texas native’s debut self-titled EP, featuring the hit “Take It On Back,” dropped in September 2014.
Other information provided:
The July 4th festivity has grown in attractions and attendance each year since 2012.
It began as just fireworks, then one year added a marching band, the next a stage, a band and food vendors. In 2016, there will be more of everything.
More food – last year vendors sold out early. This year will have double the number of food vendors.
More bounce houses, Last year there were two, this year there will be four.
There will be face painters, a mobile zip line, roving entertainers (stilt-walkers, jugglers, costumed characters, etc.), and a game called Hungry Humans.
There will be more music. With a nationally known act, it will be a full scale concert.
Four bands – Rusty Laffoon and the Broken Wagon Band begin the music at 3:30 in the afternoon. Sara Morgan is next at 5 p.m., followed by Big Time Grain Company at 6:45 p.m.
At 8:45 p.m., Chase Bryant plays up to the fireworks show as the grand finale.
There will be more traffic, too. A national act will attract a larger audience.
Last year the event was a break-even project in expense-revenue. This year the city is offering 2016 sponsorships at various levels.
Senior Building upgrade
Stewart also reviewed the plans for the remodeling to be done on the Senior Building at 128 E. Park.
Most of the work is on the interior. Plans include adding a 65 inch television display, new flooring, lighting and ceiling. New motorized window coverings will make the amount of outdoor light controllable. Bathrooms will be updated.
Outside lighting will be improved, and the sign on the building replaced.
The city is considering replacing the HVAC system. This was not originally in the plan, but the existing system is considered to be at its useful end. Stewart said this will add a substantial expense, around $90,000. He advised the committee it was better to replace it now, at the same time other improvements are being done.
Other Items
The city is running 20 to 24 tournaments at the ball fields this year.
The city currently operates four concession stands across all its properties, and is interested in enhancing services. They’ll be experimenting with new menu items and inviting third party food vendors on some occasions.
In February, the city hired Renee Nagle, as special events coordinator.