Jackson Park to get new playground equipment

Vienna Parks Director Steve Black shows photographs of the equipment being ordered for Jackson Park. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

VIENNA — Jackson Park will be getting five new playground pieces this summer, according to Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp.

The Vienna city accepted a bid of $22,896 from Davis Athletics for the playground pieces at Thursday’s council meeting. The new equipment, which is to be ordered immediately, is a surfboard on springs, a double rock climber, spider net, swings and an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant bus.

A bid of $64,769 from State Equipment also was approved for the Parks Department to purchase a miniature excavator and trailer.

A resolution for increasing the annual salary for positions of human resources director and IT specialist did not pass for a second time. Previously, the proposed amount was $3,500, but this time it was altered to $2,148.

Council member Mike Elam, who was among the four who voted against it, said instead of giving raises to certain people on top of the across-the-board raises he prefers to see more merit raises for select city employees.

“There are many hard-working employees, but if we reward everyone every year, then we are rewarding our less hard-working employees rather than acknowledging those who are doing an outstanding job in the first place,” Elam said.

Rapp defended the need to keep increasing pay due to how competitive the work force is with the oil and gas industry and even stores paying more money.

A resolution for making the economic development position a part-time job failed and it will stay full time. At the previous council meeting, council discussed whether to eliminate the position of economic development director, now that Paul Thornton is retiring; it was decided to keep the position.

Rapp said it is important to have someone who can travel and sell the city.

“If we as a city do not continue to sell ourselves, then we will be left in the dust,” Rapp said.

Council member Jim Leach said the position was needed, especially with the factory parcel at Johns Manville becoming close to being usable land again.

Council approved selling the old maintenance garage at 410 31st St. for $102,000 to West Virginia Funeral Services LLC.

The city code now reflects allowing for Sunday alcohol sales beginning at 10 a.m.

General Fund budget revision number one passed Thursday. According to Leach, most of the transfers are carryover from the 2018-2019 budget, the exception being the agreed upon match the city is providing to the Parks Department for the adult playground going into Jackson Park this year. The money is being transferred from the previous Parks Department funds to the new funds. There will be an increase of $60,000 for the visualization plan, $20,500 for equipment, $2,896 for equipment, $16,000 for a new shelter and $13,430 for the concrete pad.

There will be Family Fun Weekend events at Spencer Park today from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Madeline Scarborough can be contacted at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com