Washington City Hall

The city of Washington is hiring.

During a virtual meeting Thursday, council voted to advertise multiple new positions, including a parks and recreation administrator and administrative assistant for Washington Park.

“Pretty much all of us on council believe that park is underutilized,” Councilman Joe Manning said.

Earlier in the meeting, council accepted the retirement of Nancy Bauer, who was the Washington Park secretary for more than 20 years, Manning said. Manning said the city hadn’t necessarily budgeted for the new positions, but with Bauer’s retirement at the end of the month, “we thought now was the time to restructure.”

“We took a look at it and decided that now would be a good time to revamp the operations at that park,” he said.

Those two full-time positions, Manning said, will likely be in the range of a $40,000 to $50,000 salary, the funding for which would come out of the parks and public buildings fund.

Council also agreed to hire Pam Kilgore, of Washington, as a part-time nature and activities coordinator for the park. Kilgore has been a Washington Park advocate for years and recently started WashPA Outdoors, a community group that hosts a variety of programming in the park.

In addition to park personnel, council also agreed to advertise a position for building code officer and inspector. Manning said that for years, that role was contracted out, but now, they want to make it a permanent city position to maintain better control and communication when it comes to building issues.

“We felt it was best to have somebody in-house who can be a point of contact,” Manning said.

In other action Thursday, City Council decided to reallocate $65,000 of Community Development Block Grant money. The sum had been slated for a project to make City Hall more accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We had earmarked money for putting in an elevator shaft next to City Hall to make that lower half of City Hall, the basement part, ADA compliant,” Manning said.

However, the Tylerdale fire station on East Wylie is in need of renovations – a new roof and windows, repairs to the heater in the truck bay and repairs to the ceiling in the basement.

“The Tylerdale station renovations are more time-sensitive,” Manning said.

Since City Hall has been closed to the public most of last year and continues to remain so, the fire station renovations became a priority. The city’s already allocated $100,000 for the station repairs, which are estimated to cost about $165,000. The last $65,000 of CDBG funding should cover the rest, Manning said.

Manning said the renovations will likely be done by multiple contractors, but nothing has been bid out yet.

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