WEST BOUNTIFUL — Centerville City has six parks and a cemetery, all that need maintenance.
“We have about 200 acres of public land, 80 of those are grass that need mowing weekly,” Centerville Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Cox told members of the Bountiful Breakfast Exchange Club last week.
Cox is in charge of a department that handles not only maintenance of parks and public buildings, but the city’s recreation program. Through that program, kids can participate in myriad activities from baseball to archery to a two-week kids camp.
Maintenance of the city’s facilities is a year-round job, Cox said. Within the city’s parks are 15 public restrooms, eight pavilions, seven playgrounds, four tennis courts, three handball courts, a basketball court and five baseball diamonds. It also includes several turf areas used for soccer and football.
To handle the work, Cox oversees four full-time parks employees. They not only see to it that the parks and cemetery are mowed and watered. They also remove snow from nine parking lots, the cemetery roads and about six miles of park and parkway sidewalks and paths.
“Last year we had it easy, in terms of snow removal. This year, we’ve had to get up by 6 a.m. to get the plowing done,” he said.
His employees are also charged with maintaining the Centerville City Cemetery. This includes not only the ground’s maintenance, but preparatory work on grave sites and work following a burial to get the ground back to normal.
Cox’s staff handle about 75 burials a year, most of those in the winter.
In early spring, the staff works to ensure the cemetery looks its best in time for Memorial Day, Cox said.
To manage the growing recreation department, Centerville has a recreation coordinator and a baseball coordinator, both part-time positions. The city also has seasonal and contract instructors, as well as volunteers.
The city’s baseball program handles about 300 kids from ages 5-10 yearly, Cox said,.
It’s our most popular program,” Cox said.
The city’s two-week kids camp offers a variety of activities featuring different themes daily, Cox said. The city offers recreational activities year-round though, featuring hundreds of classes.
The department relies on volunteers, not only to teach recreation classes, but to help with projects like the annual July 4 celebration, Easter egg hunt and the movies in the park. The movies are shown every other Friday night on the side of the Founder’s Park bowery, Cox said.
Eagle Scouts, college kids and other groups needing a project can often contact Cox for ideas.
He said groups have worked on the city’s Whitaker Museum to the north of city hall. They’ve cleared trail heads and done some maintenance of city buildings.