Board has new chair, new vice chair and three new members

    Crookston Park Board has a new chair, new vice chair and three new members to start off 2019. At Tuesday’s first meeting of the year, Garrett Borowicz was nominated as chair and new member Mike LaFrance the vice, joining Derek Martin and Nate Lubarski, also new, and Becky Kofoed.

    Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle provided orientation for the new members, speaking about their mission and then focusing on how they could entice young adults, seniors and youth to take part in Crookston’s activities.

    Ideas to entice young adults included evening activities like volleyball, softball, badminton, kickball, pickleball, and provided daycare. For youth, kickball, reading, and arts and crafts to go alongside their current programs which include spring/summer sports, winter sports, Take a Kid Fishing, and Club Kid.

    Crookston Parks & Rec cares for in excess of 300 acres, 26 city parks, along the levees, and playgrounds at the parks. Riopelle told the board that they’ve updated almost all playgrounds, Alexander Street park is left, and they’re working on adding ADA amenities to the playgrounds.

    At the Crookston Sports Center, they turned off the compressors for the Gold Arena to take out the ice and convert it to turf as the University of Minnesota Crookston spring sports teams will be using it next week, said Riopelle. After March’s Dreams on Ice skating show, the Event Arena will have its ice taken out and the sports floor will go in for the upcoming Crookston Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) annual tournament.

    Parks & Rec facility and park upgrade ideas, Riopelle presented, include adding walking/biking paths in Sampson’s Addition, developing a nature trail in Aunt Polley’s Slough, adding a bridge, paths, sitting areas and fishing pier at the Sixth Street Landslide area; mountain bike and fat bike trails, frisbee golf course at Castle Park or Wildwood, addition to the CSC, Karn Field outfield fetching and bleachers, Highland Complex Diamond 1 lighting upgrade, Highland fencing and cement slabs under bench areas and bleachers, plus a perimeter walking or biking path; Central Park upgrades to go alongside the pending campground expansion, solar energy at facilities, and more.

    Ward 5 Council Member Dale Stainbrook asked Riopelle why it was taking so long to get the frisbee golf baskets set up in Castle Park as they have had the baskets “for years.” City Administrator Shannon Stassen said the city has wanted someone to design the course for them and they have a contact who they will be working with.

    Stainbrook also asked about the transition team involved with the take-over of the Crookston Community Pool to which Riopelle replied saying they will be meeting again in March as they work towards transition from the Crookston School District in July. Pool Manager Cody Brekken will become a city employee once the transition happens and Riopelle says he’s a “great find” for Parks & Rec.