The Paxton Park District Board couldn’t pick a scholarship winner from the five applications submitted so they awarded a smaller scholarship to each student applying. Usually the board awards one $500 scholarship. This year Dalton Busboom, Tate Graham, Kirra Lanz, Drake Schrodt and Kendra Snelling will each receive $250 to go toward their college expenses.
Board members acknowledged that each senior has participated in park district programs like swim team or baseball. They have also worked for the district, some umpiring, some at the concession stand. And all said the applicants were “good kids.”
Board member Denver Piatt emphasized that this year’s action in no way sets a precedent for how the board will make the awards in future years. The board was caught somewhat flat-footed with the recent resignation of director Neal McKenry and didn’t realize for a while they needed to make the award.
Also the board agreed to take out a tax anticipation warrant for $30,000 to cover expenses until the district receives its first property tax payment. Some of the money will be used to reimburse residents who had already paid for spring sports programs.
President Brad Ecker said originally the idea was to credit residents for those payments that could be used for future programs. But Ecker said with a new director coming in, that arrangement might be rather confusing so the reimbursements will go out soon.
Also the board went into executive session to determine how they will arrange to interview candidates for McKenry’s position and what that salary will be. The board has narrowed down the 31 applicants to five to interview.
Also the board reconfirmed its decision to not open the pool this year. Member Bobby Kinnaird said “our hands are tied with no financing, no director. It’s too late in the year now.” Piatt said that guidance from the county health department says “no pools or playgrounds.”
Also the board agreed to keep the wording on its website that says: all indoor facilities, youth and adult programs, and rentals are closed to the public through June 30, 2020 and possibly beyond pending additional COVID-19 related restrictions.
The board emphasized that the grounds are open for walking, the tennis court is open, the basketball court at West Lawn Park won’t be fenced off and that if people wanted to use the pavilion, Ecker said several churches have inquired about it, they could, but that it will not be reserved. The board agreed that the Zumba class would be allowed to continue to meet. That group has fewer than 10 people.
Ecker said he must return deposits people have made to use the building during June. He said it was completely booked.