After two fishing shanties were recently spotted on the pond in Kalida's Four Seasons Park, village council members expressed concerned over liability issues - Putnam Sentinel
After two fishing shanties were recently spotted on the pond in Kalida's Four Seasons Park, village council members expressed concerned over liability issues. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)

KALIDA — During the recent cold snap, two people took the opportunity to use Kalida’s Four Seasons Park in a manner not anticipated by the village. They went ice fishing in the pond located near the pavilion.

“I drove out there, and [found] two [nylon] ice fishing shanties,” said Kalida Police Chief Jim Gulker. “They were nice ones…right out there in the middle of the pond.”

As Gulker noted, catch and release fishing is allowed at the pond. As such, the two individuals were not violating any park rules or local ordinances.

Following Gulker’s report, a brief discussion ensued where council expressed surprise at the activity. They also voiced concern over liability issues should the village allow this type of winter sport to continue going forward. Additional worries over ice skating and using snowmobiles or four wheelers on the frozen pond were mentioned as well.

Following discussion, council voted unanimously to ban such activities. At least four signs indicating the new rules are expected to be ordered and placed at the pond in the near future.

Architectural plans for Kalida’s new town hall and related road work will be available for viewing and discussion tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the current village hall. All area residents are invited to attend the meeting.

With the plans nearing a cost estimate is expected to be discussed as well. Mayor Gerdeman expressed hope that once the estimate is known, the village could begin making progress towards identifying a method for funding the new town hall. Should all go well, he anticipates breaking ground on the new building in the spring of 2020.

As related be Gerdeman, the Kalida Park Board has submitted its grant application to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) for Phase II of the village’s nature trail. This would complete the connecting between Four Seasons Park and Froggy Park, criss crossing Plum Creek. Phase I was mostly complete by last fall. Residents may note that the home which stood on this land has now been demolished as of this past Monday, though some debris may still need to be removed.

The village also learned that OPWC has awarded a Nature Works Local Grant for construction of a new shelter house at Froggy Park. This grant and project is separate from the nature trail project. The shelter house must be completed by Dec. 31, 2020, and is expected to be in place much sooner.

Mayor Gerdeman provided his official remarks on the ‘State of the Village’ during Monday evening’s council meeting, as required by Ohio’s Revised Code.

“I want to thank all of the elected officials and all of the employees for their hard work and dedication during 2018,” Gerdeman began. “Once again, I believe it was a tremendous year for the village. We did a lot of good work.”

Gerdeman went on to note a plethora of accomplishments, 33 by his account, before highlighting a few he felt were particularly notable.

“One of the things that’s always been a goal of mine since I became Mayor is a new town hall for the village….We got started on that by selecting an architect to develop preliminary designs. We’ve had several meetings, and I think we’ve come up with a real solid floor plan, and a real solid architectural design for the building…I think it’s going to be a great addition to the village.”

“The Park Board got started on the new nature trail for Four Seasons Park, and that included a new pedestrian bridge over Plum Creek…They got a lot done this last year, and of course there’s more to do…Now, it’s on to Phase II.”

“[There were] significant vehicle purchases in 2018. A new cruiser for the police department, a new riding lawn mower, and a new tractor; some fairly substantial purchases, cost-wise, for the village.” Later, Gerdeman also noted that the village’s finances in early January, 2019 were virtually identical to January, 2018, even with these significant purchases.

“From a safety standpoint,” he continued, “We had a survey done [on pubic parking spaces] and sure enough, we were out of compliance in several areas. We took action to correct that by marking ‘No Parking’ zones near crosswalks and alleyways.”

Gerdeman credited a local resident for bringing this issue to the village’s attention. Prior to the changes, previously existing parking spaces created sightline issues for those turning onto busy roadways within the village.

The next meeting of the Kalida Village Council will take place on Monday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall. All meetings are open to the public and they are invited to attend.