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Bumper crop of lifeguards grows

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Whenever Old Man Winter relents and spring has finally sprung, the Aquatics Center at Baker Park will be ready.

Monday, members of the New Castle Parks and Recreation Board learned that the number of newly trained and certified lifeguards will soon reach 25. Having enough available lifeguards was a major issue for the pool operation last year and actually forced closure before Labor Day.

But thanks to a Henry County Community Foundation grant and instruction from both YMCA and Red Cross personnel, lifeguards are not expected to be an issue this year.

“We’re moving mountains, I think, in regard to this topic,” New Castle Parks Supt. Mike Bergum said. “This is going to pay dividends for a long time. We’ve even looking to re-certify some of the guards who worked last year, but whose certification has expired.”

“A special thanks to the Henry County Community Foundation for helping us,” Parks Board President Patty Broyles said. “We’ve never done anything like this before, but now we can put it in our budget for next year.”

Meanwhile, park board members were planning to attend a foundation grant workshop Tuesday in hopes of getting help on another project.

“We had to remove approximately 40 trees from Osborne Park,” Bergum said. “We’d like some help monetarily to replace those.”

Board member Sandy Scott was tapped to join Bergum and Broyles at that workshop. Application deadline foundation grants is noon Friday, Feb. 22.

In other business at Monday’s New Castle Parks Board meeting:

• Construction of a new shelter near the shuffleboard court at Baker Park has been put on hold for now.

• Mayor Greg York reported new lights have been installed around the 1400 Plaza site and that the same style of lights will be placed along Trojan Lane, Baker Park and Main Street in front of the courthouse.

• Bergum said in addition to lifeguards, applications are being taken for summer help, including part-time workers and concession stand employees.

• A schedule of additional pool programs and extended pool hours will be released in the near future, according to Bergum.

More caps needed for new benches

New Castle Parks Board members Monday learned applications to reserve a memorial bench in honor of a loved one will begin Friday, March 1.

Brenda Grider, who spearheads the successful project, said she already had five orders for new benches. But now, plastic caps are needed to fulfill those orders.

Grider told park board members it takes about 200 pounds of plastic caps to make one bench. That equates to an average of five bags full of caps per bench. She said Star Financial Bank has already collected five or six bags for their bench.

Plastic caps and/or lids may be turned in at any New Castle Fire Station, just like before. There is one change, however.

“The last time we did this they accepted the amber color medicine bottles but they are no longer accepting those at this time,” Grider said.

Here’s a list of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable:

n ACCEPTABLE CAPS

Medicine bottle, milk jug, detergent, hair spray, toothpaste,deodorant, apple sauce pouch, soda, water, juice and sports drinks, flip-top or spout caps (ketchup and mustard containers), spray paint, ointment tube, baby food, shampoo and conditioner.

n ACCEPTABLE LIDS

Cottage cheese containers, mayonnaise jars, yogurt, peanut butter jars, ice cream containers under 8 inches, Cool Whip containers, coffee cans, cream cheese containers, butter containers, Pringles chips.

n NEVER ACCEPTABLE

Metal lids from drink bottles, plastic ziplock type bags, trigger sprayers, fast food drink lids, soap or lotion pumps, food containers, grocery bags, Med bottle caps with (1), (3), (6) or (7) recycle number; K-Cups or straws.