Rugby Park Board
Recreational parks play a huge part in a community, especially in one like Rugby where community events are commonly held during the warmer months.
Parks represent a place for families to come together, children to play and communities to grow. From picnics to musical events, parks allow for a variety of fun activities to take part in.
There are four parks in Rugby Ellery Park, South Side Park, the park at the Pierce County Fairgrounds and the Jaycees Park.
While the community enjoys these parks and playgrounds on a regular basis, one might ask who is responsible for the day-to-day planning, maintenance and cleanup of these areas.
Mark Voeller has been Chairman of the Rugby Park Board for the past four terms. There are four other members on the Park Board, including Tim Bartsch, Jr., Tonia Dosch, Rick Larson and Rick Srur.
The Park Board is responsible for the planning and maintaining of Rugby’s parks, the fairgrounds and the walking paths. They buy the picnic tables and playground equipment, as well as pay for the grounds’ buildings and maintenance.
Funds for the Park Board are split between property tax income, roughly $75,000, state aid based on the state budget, which varies from term to term, and roughly 15% from whatever city allocations there may be.
The board hires maintenance people to mow the grass and clean the areas.
“They’re pretty much their own bosses,” Voeller said. “I think they do a pretty good job. We don’t have to ask them to do thingsfor the most part, they just do it. We’re very lucky to have the help that we have.”
Voeller said that the grounds are always ready come springtime, as the grounds crew makes sure to get everything in order for the season.
Voeller and the Park Board are very proud of the parks and other areas that they take care of, especially the walking path area. Voeller said that he is thankful to the Jaycees for raising funds to set up a park near the path. Now, instead of portable toilets, the path has public restrooms available for use.
Voeller says he is glad that the grounds have been put to good use and that he and the board are always looking for suggestions. Earlier this summer, Marques Stricker had the idea of putting a disc golf course in Ellery Park. Since then, the course has become a huge success.
“I came down to the park and there were about 20 guys from Minot playing on the course, so I thought that was pretty cool,” Voeller said.
As for the future, the Park Board has some ideas to better Ellery Park. Because of Music in the Park and the large role it plays in the Rugby community, the Park Board would like to renovate the space near the gazebo. Voeller describes leveling the ground in front of the gazebo to make a flat surface, instead of a hill, as one of the ideas the board is currently working on. This would make it easier for park goers to move around the area. They also want to install benches into the ground, instead of having to carry picnic tables back and forth each week.
“I think parks are very important in Rugby,” Voeller said. “People seem to enjoy them.”
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