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Zearing Park pier still unsafe

Park district completes new card system

PRINCETON — The fishing pier at Zearing Park remains closed for public use.

At Monday’s meeting of the Princeton Park District, Executive Director Elaine Russell said the park district has not yet heard back from engineer Kevin Heitz with Chamlin & Associates to see if he has been able to schedule an appointment with the contractor of the pier to see what should be done about repairing the damage that occurred during the winter.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, Superintendent of Parks Keith Scherer said the cement bases under the ramp leading to the fishing dock are “heaving up” at different levels. The heaving has essentially twisted the ramp, pulling at all its seams and joints. Much of this is due to freezing and thawing throughout the winter months, Scherer said.

On Tuesday, Russell said the chain remains on the fishing pier ramp, which should serve as yet another reminder for people to stay off the area as it is certainly a tripping hazard. However, people can still fish from the banks of the pond, she said.

Referring to other business at Monday’s meeting, Russell said the transition into the membership key card system has gone smoothly. Upon entering Metro Center, patrons have to do nothing but give their name and pick up their new key cards when they leave. Best of all, the new card process took place only one time, and the patrons were good to go, she said.

The new card system replaces the fingerprint scanning system previously used.

“As hard as we tried, many of our members were unable to provide a positive finger scan. Because of this, we would either have to enter them manually or our records would be inaccurate. One of the main uses of our system is to keep track of usage and time of usage,” Russell said.

In other business, the park district agreed at Monday’s meeting to pay its portion of the abated taxes for utility installation in Bailey Subdivision in the amount of $3,732 for 2009 and $5,923 for 2010. The city is still determining the park district amounts for 2011 and 2012. This payment is made directly to the city, as the city paid the residents in the subdivision the abated amount in full, she said.

Russell also referred Tuesday to the recent meeting of the Illinois Association of Park Boards in Springfield, during which Princeton Park District staff and board members met with State Sen. Darin LaHood and State Rep. Don Moffitt.

“Due to all of the demands of our State Sen. Darin LaHood and State Rep. Don Moffitt, the Princeton Park District Board and staff are always honored when they choose to spend time with us. And it is a choice,” Russell said. “They have hundreds of requests in any given week to appear at an event; to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with groups; or to speak at engagements. Accepting offers to appear with the Princeton Park District are very special and always appreciated times.”

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