The Village of Caledonia Parks and Recreation Commission wants to host several fundraisers to improve the village’s parks system and build awareness of the parks in the community.
Plans include hosting a bowling outing Feb. 8, a golf outing July 6, poker run on July 18 and a sweet corn festival from Aug. 28 through Aug. 30.
But the village — in a 4 to 1 vote — gave a preliminary blessing for bowling and golf outings until the details for the other two events could be hammered out. Village board member Lee Wishau voted against the plan. Village president Bob Bradley and Kevin Wanggaard were not present at the meeting on Monday night.
Village board and parks and recreation commission member Eddie Willing explained to the board that the commission wanted permission to start planning the events. In the past, the commission has run the parks system, but have not had recreational programs. Over the years, the village budget for parks was reduced and all the staffing was eliminated, except for mowing and basic maintenance.
The events are expected to give revenue for the parks while also get people to start using the parks.
“These four events should receive the blessing of the board before we move forward with planning,” Willing said. “It’s not hard a commitment, but we wanted the board to know what our plans were, and we can start talking to area businesses to figure out where the money is going to come from.”
The village hired Randall Solberg to be the part-time parks supervisor, who is spearheading the events. The commission wants to use the funds to make improvements, including fixing the park road failure at Gorney Park, address safety issues at each of the parks, increase awareness of the parks and eventually hire a full-time parks supervisor.
Village administrator Mark Janiuk said the commission could also establish a “Friends of the Parks Association” to help raise the fund.
“Someone has to be running it though,” Janiuk said.
The commission plans to come back to the village board to get the other two events approved.