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Handling winter, preparing for spring

Princeton Park District looks toward warmer weather

PRINCETON – The Princeton Park District is preparing for spring and summer with the purchase of a couple new mowers.

At Monday’s meeting, the Princeton Park District approved the purchase of two mid-mount tractor mowers with 30 horsepower diesel engines. Two bids were received for each mower. The purchase contract for the mower with a 5-foot mower deck was awarded to Diller Rod of Princeton at a low bid of $6,590. The purchase for a mower with a 6-foot mower deck was awarded to Holland and Sons of Princeton for $5,990.

Superintendent of Parks Keith Scherer said he’s pleased with the bids and is happy to get the mowers from Princeton businesses. The new tractors will replace older ones; the warranties have run out.

On Wednesday, Scherer and administrative assistant Tammy Lange talked about the impact of this winter on the park district, its budget and patron use.

Like everyone else, the park district has seen increased expenses this winter with its repeated snowfalls and frigid temperatures, Lange said. The park district has had to dig deep into its pocket and budget to handle those increased costs for heating, snow removal and salt, she said.

As an example, Scherer said the cost for LP gas has more than doubled this winter.

As far as use of the Bureau County Metro Center this winter, Lange said 53 new members were added in January as a result of a membership drive, which tells her people are still wanting to get some exercise and use the facility in spite of any weather challenges. The Metro Center wasn’t closed at all this winter for the weather but did close early three times to get patrons and staff home safely, she said.

Regardless of the weather, people can come to the Metro Center when they have cabin fever and need to get some exercise, Scherer said. People can also go for walks in the parks and use them for activities like cross-country skiing, he said.

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