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Dogs, water & pickleball

Dog park will remain on Parks &?Rec agenda until resolved

August 10, 2016
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

by Amy H. Peterson


John Skrepak brought to the Estherville Parks &?Recreation Board several weeks ago the idea of installing water fountains at library square. They had been there when Skrepak's children were growing up and they would take bike rides to the Square.

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Because of the threat of communicable disease, and the possibility of chronic vandalism, defacement, and leaving gum, tobacco and other salivated substances on or in the fountains, the board flushed the idea at its regular meeting on Monday.

"It's a maintenance issue," board member?Laurel Hash said. "People carry bottles with them now."

Board members raised the issue of who would clean the fountains.

Board chairman Wayne King said, "I?highly recommend we bypass it."?

According to Bruce Bernard, PhD, the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Toxicology, public water fountains may be contaminated with pathogens.

"Water fountain toggles in schools were identified as the most contaminated surfaces in schools in one study,"?Bernard said. In another study, rotavirus, which is the most common cause of diarreha in infants and young children, was identified on water fountain surfaces in many daycare facilities.

Without regularly cleaning the fountain with chlorine bleach solution, it's likely a fountain in a public park would harbor harmful germs, according to Bernard.

In other business, the board announced Aug. 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as the date and time for an exhibition night of pickleball, a racquet sport craze that has gained in popularity in warmer climates. The demonstation will take place at the Spurgin Park Tennis Courts. Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines the elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

The board also considered dog parks in the Estherville parks system as a running agenda item until it is resolved.

"We should decide on a place for a bare-bones dog park, then add amenities as we go,"?board member Bob Jensen said.

The board also received an update on the riverfront trail system.

City administrator Penny Clayton said, "They're pouring concrete."?

People have ridden horses on the trail already, however, Clayton said. The board considered signage to let people know horses are not allowed on the trail.

Clayton updated the board on the pool closing date. The issue, according to Clayton, is staffing.

"Due to fall sports and band starting, we may not have staff past Aug. 21,"?Clayton said.

It is possible the pool could be open the weekend of Aug. 27-28, but there is not enough staff to open it for most of the days during the week leading up to it, Clayton said.

The next meeting of the Parks &?Recreation Board will be at Thoreson Park on Sept. 12. at 5:30 p.m. with a short agenda and the board's annual picnic.



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