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Sherwood Parks: Recovery effort continues after Christmas storm

Municipalities are continuing to deal with the aftermath of the Christmas snow and ice storm that downed many trees and other structures in Arkansas. The city of Sherwood remains no different.

City Parks and Recreation Director Sonny Janssen told members of the Sherwood Parks and Recreation Committee at its February meeting that his department experienced extensive damage from the storm and continues to make repairs.

Janssen told committee members the Enchanted Forest arch of the Trail of Lights collapsed from the storm.

In addition, the awnings of Sherwood Forest received damage and the city’s sports complex received damage to the battling cages.

Janssen said the city’s new insurance has a $5,000 deductible and the property also has depreciating value that will have an impact on Sherwood’s claim.

Janssen said he has filed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to try and get additional funds.

Janssen also asked permission from the committee to go to the city’s personnel commission to reinstate some jobs the department used to employ.

However, the positions were left unfilled because the city implemented a hiring freeze, which affected the positions of New Fitness/Wellness Coordinator and Facility Night Manager, and Full-time After School/Summer Day Camp.

Janssen said his department needs a fitness coordinator who can show new members how to use the equipment and also act as a night manager.

Committee members were told there used to be two full time positions in the after school/summer day camp.

The camp program is now making money for the first time in its history, committee members were told.

Janssen said he is considering appointing a person to the camp position who has worked for the department for nine years part time. The employee currently is making $9 per hour but Janssen wants to raise the pay to $12.10 per hour.

Janssen said he also looking into raising childcare prices $5.00. The prices will still be some of the least expensive in town.

Committee member Janet Ketzscher made the motion to go to the personnel commission for the one and half positions, Fitness/Wellness Coordinator and Facility Night Manager and a full time School/Summer Day Camp. Sondea Blair seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.

Janssen then approved Sarah Coulter as the new city’s Event/Facility Coordinator.

Alderman Charles Harmon asked what the committee’s policy was if a member had an extended illness. Janssen said a member can call and bring in a doctor’s note and the account is frozen until they are ready to come back.

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