Council Approves New Roof for Park Pavilion

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 13, 2021 at 2:21pm

A can that has been kicked down the road a few times in a Jacksonville park can’t be kicked any further.

The Jacksonville City Council approved an engineering agreement with Benton & Associates of Jacksonville for the replacement of the Nichols Park Pavilion roof during their regular meeting last night. Parks and Lakes Committee Chair Lori Large Oldenettel says the aging roof has put recent interior improvements in jeopardy.

It was brought to our attention there is significant leaking of the park pavilion out at Nichols Park, and so we brought it before the council and it was decided we should move forward to take care of the investment that we have already made in that building with the floor and other infrastructure inside. So we are moving forward with getting the roof replaced.

Costs for the roof replacement are estimated to be approximately $60,000 for the roof and $20,000 in engineering work. Mayor Andy Ezard reiterated during the workshop session that the council was aware a new roof was needed, but it had not been factored into this year’s budget. He says the council was careful during budgeting projections with the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns have had and what effect those would have on revenue.

The City Finance Committee met recently to determine where in the budget the funds could be allocated from for both the roof and replacement of steel restroom doors at both lake Jacksonville and Community Park. Jacksonville Parks Manager Adam Fletcher says the Nichols Park Pavilion is an important part of the parks system and needs to be preserved.

To save the building, you’ve got to save the structure. To save the structure you’ve got to start with the roof, so we are going to take care of this to make sure that building lasts as long as it can. It’s lasted over one hundred years so far, so we are going to try to keep it going as long as we can.”

In other action taken by the council last night, long-time reporter and Jacksonville historian Greg Olson was appointed to the Heritage Cultural Center Board for a two-year term. Ezard said when it became know that Olson moved back to Jacksonville, it was a no-brainer for the Board to want his extensive knowledge of the history of Jacksonville included on the Board.

An amendment to the ordinance governing liquor licenses was approved granting a license to Shiraz on the downtown square which is in the process of reopening after a lengthy shut down due to the pandemic.

A resolution approving the quote for a replacement pump control panel at the Johnson Street lift station also passed. Jamie Headen with Benton and Associates said the project will hopefully begin later this summer and be finished by October if all goes according to plan.

Due to some scheduling conflicts, the next Jacksonville City Council meeting has been moved back a day, and will now be held on Tuesday, April 27th.