By Sara Tischauser
The lake at Lake Park in Seymour is open once again this year for the public to enjoy.
John Schoen, Seymour Department of Public Works director, said they had a lot of feedback last year from those who used the lake.
“I reached out to many users throughout the season last year with the majority of the comments being positive in nature,” Schoen said. “There were two items that I heard the most comments on: one was the amount of bullhead minnows in the shallow area that were actually poking swimmers and the mucky bottom around the 3 foot mark.”
Schoen said they listened to these concerns and tried to find solutions.
“Improvements directly to the lake this year include a higher level of lake maintenance as well as the planting of largemouth bass in the lake for bullhead, tadpole and minnow control,” Schoen said. “The bass are larger predatory fish with large appetites so this should help quickly. We were also able to work out a deal for some sand for the beach area so once the creek level recedes more, we will get that placed in there.”
He said they will continue to look for ways to improve the lake.
“As for additional future plans for the lake, we will review our treatment program this fall and review recommendations from the contractor on what can be done to make the lake better for swimming purposes,” Schoen said.
At least one of the requests from the public, Schoen said may not be possible and still needs to be looked at.
“One item requested several times was some sort of raft to be placed out in the deeper area to be able to rest/play on, but a decision has not been made as it may be a liability concern,” Schoen said.
Not only were improvements made to the lake but also to other features at Lake Park.
“A couple of items taken on in the park this spring were the complete repainting of the restrooms, small pavilion, and large pavilion interior, exterior and metal roof,” Schoen said. “Lighting upgrades were also completed in each of these buildings, all were upgraded to high efficiency LED lights.”
More improvements for Lake Park are being planned.
“Additional plans for Lake Park include revamping the existing parking, add additional parking for ball games as well as add parking closer to the lake,” Schoen said. “We are hoping we can get some of this done with blacktop millings from other projects going on in the area as these are more reasonable to purchase compared to crushed gravel, but are not always available.”
These improvements are all in addition to ones that were done last year to get the lake ready for use.
“Preparation for last year’s opening included installation of a well pump, working up the beach sand to get the sand loose, hired a treatment/lake management contractor to get the lake back into a swimmable condition, removed weeds and sediment from the shallower areas, and many more minor improvements to make the experience more enjoyable for our community,” Schoen said.
The City of Seymour would like to continue to provide a quality experience at Lake Park for users, but does need park users’ help to keep the park nice.
“We would really like the park users to respect the park and appreciate all that the City has invested in bringing this area back into service,” Schoen said. “We have had some minor vandalism take place over the past few weeks. For example, two picnic tables were dragged out into the middle of the lake last week, this is just disrespectful and takes resources that could be better spent improving Lake Park.”