The mobile bandstand Shawnee County Parks and Recreation maintains is nearly 20 years old, and needs extensive repairs to its undercarriage. Meanwhile, the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation's board of directors is willing to pay to replace it.
Shawnee County Commissioners took those things into account Monday as they adopted budgets totaling $209,672.53 to carry out two parks and recreation projects.
Commissioners Kevin Cook, Shelly Buhler and Bob Archer voted 3-0 to approve a budget totaling $154,000 for the Parks and Recreation Foundation to buy a new mobile stage unit and a budget totaling $55,672.53 from a capital maintenance fund to upgrade existing interior and exterior lighting at Crestview Community Center and Park, 4801 S.W. Shunga Drive.
The parks and recreation department must still solicit bids and carry out both projects. The mobile stage is to be acquired over the next year, said Rachel Meyer, partnership development coordinator for Shawnee County Parks and Recreation.
The Parks and Recreation Foundation plans to seek assistance from others to help cover costs to acquire the mobile stage unit, she said. That unit could also be described as a "mobile bandstand," said parks and recreation director John Knight.
Shawn Osborne, outdoor adventures superintendent for the parks and recreation department, said Topeka Parks and Recreation in 1999 or 2000 acquired the current mobile bandstand, which the county parks and recreation department acquired when those departments merged under county control in 2012.
He said the county receives "quite a few requests" from organizations that wish to use a mobile stage. Any revenue bought in by renting out the unit would go to the county instead of the Parks and Recreation Foundation, Osborne said.
While two or three people are needed to set up the current bandstand, the new unit will initially be able to be set up by two people, and eventually by one, he said.
In a meeting that lasted about 15 minutes, commissioners also:
• Voted 3-0 to solicit bids from licensed professional engineering firms to provide a safety inspection report for the Lake Shawnee Dam, which the county must have done every three years.
• Voted 3-0 to appoint Paul Leavens to the county's Ambulance Advisory Board.
• Heard county ambulance compliance officer Nelson Casteel say the Ambulance Advisory Board is satisfied with the service the county is receiving from American Medical Response Ambulance Co., the county's ambulance service provider
• Heard that grand opening ceremonies will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday for the Women, Infants and Children's program clinic that opened last month at Hillcrest Community Center, 1800 S.E. 21st.