People’s Project receives donation
By Randy Parks
If you build it, they will come. Not only does that hold true for a “Field of Dreams,” but also for new playground equipment.
Burns City Manager (CM) Don Munkers told the city council at their meeting on Wednesday, May 23, that they took down the tape from around the new playground equipment at Washington Park at about 9 a.m. on Saturday and by 9:30 a.m. there were about 30 kids playing on it. “It’s in place and operational,” Munkers said.
He added that work on the swings had also been completed.
The next step in improvements at the park include a new fence, benches and work on the baseball diamond.
Munkers and Councilor Laura Nichols will be giving a presentation in Portland on June 5 for a $125,000 grant for further improvements, including a sprinkler system, bandstand, lighting, security cameras, sidewalk and restrooms.
Bette Ballard and JoAnn Hofman of the People’s Project were in attendance and Munkers complimented them and members of Faith Baptist Church on the work they’ve been doing around the community. “We’re moving forward. There are still some issues with properties and junk cars, but we’re making progress,” Munkers said.
At their previous meeting, the council had received a request from the People’s Project for a donation to purchase supplies, and the council asked that they appear in person at a meeting to discuss their organization and the work they’re doing.
Ballard told the council that they had been spending their own money to purchase supplies, such as garbage bags, and using their own tools.
Councilor Terri Holt asked if the group held regular meetings, and Ballard answered, “We’re not a club, we’re a movement. The five of us just get together and decide what we’re going to do.”
Ballard told the council about the projects they had already completed as well as future plans.
After some discussion, the council voted to donate $75.
Councilor Bill Renwick stated that the Harney County Opportunity Team’s next project is the Arrowhead Plaza and they would be having a Father’s Day breakfast at the location on Saturday, June 16. He asked that East A Street between Broadway and Alder be closed for the event, and the council agreed to the closure.
Mayor Craig LaFollette read a request from Jean Cain asking for a $100 donation to go toward repainting the welcome signs that the PRIDE organization had put up about 14 years ago. The original artist, Christine Wagner, will repaint the signs, and the project will cost $1,000.
The council voted to donate $100 toward the project and help with manpower if available.
In other business:
• Councilor Renwick said that he was impressed with the letter to the editor in the Burns Times-Herald acknowledging Mayor LaFollette helping visitors at the cemetery. “He’s a good ambassador for the city,” Renwick said;
• Councilor Nichols and CM Munkers thanked those who helped with the work at Washington Park, and Munkers added that the city saved about $20,000 with their time and effort.
• Mayor LaFollette thanked the Burns Times-Herald for the Save A Stray letter explaining their spay and neuter program.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at city hall.