From the Mayor’s Desk

Hi. Well I told you last week I would update you on some of the agenda items that were discussed at the Public Property meeting.
There were quite a few questions on the parcel of land where the city well was located and closed off. It is across from the Fair Grounds and the Fair Association had approached the city a while ago to purchase it. The land can never be built on because of the well that lays beneath it but the Fair Association could use it for parking. This was tabled until the next meeting.
The opening of the Lake was on the agenda and quite a few citizens were there in favor of again opening it up. Fifteen years ago when we closed the lake it was losing close to $20,000.00 a year. Keeping lifeguards on duty was a big expense plus running the concession stand and keeping rafts on the lake and many other expense items that go into running a lake that is fully manned just got too expensive. The school opened up their pool and it became hard to get life- guards for the wages the city could pay in comparison with the school and with a new inside pool the attendance dropped off. I could go on and on but it ended up with us closing the lake. Now I think residents are starting to see the benefit to Seymour and themselves to having the lake reopen. Lake Park is indeed a beautiful park and it has been kept up except for the area which holds the water. As much as previous councils have tried to get the attendance at the park to pick up it doesn’t to any great degree.
If we kill the weeds in the lake and clean up the sand area, I think we will encourage more activities to locate down there. I also think we will probably get more activity at the pavilion. The park can never be anything but a park as we received federal funding to build it. It will be a lake that is signed “SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK” which makes me personally a bit uncomfortable but all the municipalities around us are doing that and it is working out well so I tell myself “get over it.” There was some discussion on the cost which is around $14,000 for reopening it and then after about $5,000 to $7,000 a year to maintain it properly.
I said it during the meeting, and I will say it now, if we try and put opening the lake on the priority list during budget it will, without question, be low man on the list when you have projects like extending Mainline Drive, development of five acres east of Mainline Drive, sidewalk extensions, Industrial Park development and expansion, replacing equipment, remodel of City Hall, roof on City Garage, elimination of chip-sealing on our streets accelerate our street repaving program and on and on.
Citizens have asked for quite a few years now to please reopen our lake. There will always be something more important, but I think it’s time to do it for the younger families, and older folks, too. It will definitely be a draw to our community and it will be one more feather in Seymour’s hat to have people look at locating here. I think in a two-million dollar budget somewhere we can squeeze the $14,000 to open the lake and thereafter $5,000 to $7,000 a year to maintain it. There will always be a reason not to do it, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet on this one.
I will be talking about baseball lighting next week.
Mayor Judy Schuette