News

Park maintenance is a chore

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

The Federal Way City Council has awarded a $51,348 parks maintenance contract to Myers Master Lawncare to help with parks maintenance at 12 sites in the city over the next year.

The decision comes at the front edge of what’s shaping up to be a busy season.

The parks maintenance budget is lower this year than in years past. The ouncil made cuts across all departments to narrow a $3 million budget gap in the city’s 2005-06 operating budget. With fewer maintenance workers trying to cover the same number of parks, workers will be making fewer visits around the city, parks operations superintendent Kurt Reuter said.

The parks have two maintenance crews –– one for buildings and trails, the other for ballfields, sports courts and the hundreds of acres of grass and trees.

Daily routines for the crews include picking up litter and garbage, repairing damage caused by vandalism or graffiti, mowing, pruning and irrigation.

In addition, maintenance workers spend a significant amount of time prepping the city’s ballfields during the summer months, Reuter said. There are several throughout the city, and all get a lot of use. Maintenance workers drag and line the fields before each game, clean dugouts, wash bleachers and water the grass.

Softball fields are mowed three times a week and lined and dragged every day — sometimes twice a day if there are several games in a row, Reuter said. Soccer fields are mowed twice a week and lined once a week.

When they have time, crews install new fixtures or signs, he said.

While the summer season is busier for maintenance workers just by virtue of the number of people using the parks, it doesn’t have to overwhelming.

“All we ask is folks pick up after themselves,” Reuter said. “That’s what it basically comes down to: Folks who don’t want to walk 20 feet to throw their garbage away.”

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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