ST. MARYS — Conflicts with the Benzinger Township Golf Authority and updates on the downtown park and stage project were topics of discussion at Monday’s St. Marys City Council meeting.
At June’s meeting, council approved Kane Lawn & Garden as the bidder for the downtown St. Marys park project, so things are continuing to move forward, said City Manager Tim Pearson.
The Redevelopment Authority plans to build a stage/amphitheater, in conjunction with a city park on Depot Street. The planned park will have a bridge extending across Elk Creek, connecting the parking garage to Brusselles Street.
“We are going through where we want to go with this, and making sure we have the funding to do the things we want to do,” Pearson said.
The next step is finalizing coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), who gave formal approval for the permit back in May. The DEP will look at the final design of the park and stage, Pearson said.
The goal is to give council a good update on this project come August, he said, and have construction also start around that time.
Pearson said he met with the RDA on Monday to finalize plans for the building demo on Depot Street. They are also working with the DEP on this, as the building is pretty close to Elk Creek.
“Things continue to progress well on both avenues here,” Pearson said.
Parks and Recreation Board Council reviewed recommendations for the St. Marys Parks and Recreation Board, ultimately recommending Jim Higgins, who has an accounting background, for the open position.
Councilman Andrew Mohney recommended that nominees provide more information, including background and why they are interested in the recommendation, when submitting a letter to council.
Benzinger Twp. Golf Authority Mayor Lou Radkowski told the council he met with members of the Benzinger Township Golf Authority, which runs the 18-hole course and restaurant Bavarian Hills Golf Course, a week ago.
The city recently paid off the authority’s monthly loan of around $12,000, in exchange for the authority providing a five-year financial and marketing plan.
Councilman Mohney expressed his frustration with the situation, since council has yet to receive any sort of plan from the authority. He suggested they utilize social media in order to make the restaurant business grow, which they also have yet to do.
“Don’t come and complain about not making a restaurant work, when you don’t put in the time or the hours to make it work,” he said. “They have to at least be organized.”
Councilman Greg Gebauer agreed with Mohney, saying that since council keeps paying the authority’s loans, they are making no steps toward improving.