Local government

City plans add dock, upgrade trails at Beck-Kiwanis Park

ONTARIO – When Dan Cummings arrived in Ontario back in the 1970s, one of his favorite past times was fishing at Beck-Kiwanis Park.

Back then, Cummings was a college student, eager to put his free time to good use with a pole, tackle and bait.

Fast forward more than 40 years and Cummings is now the Ontario city manager and the park still holds a special place for him.

That’s why Cummings hopes to use $40,000 in city money to give the 30-acre park in north Ontario near the fairgrounds a facelift and make it more attractive.

“I told the council when they hired me I want to spend money improving our existing infrastructure before we build new stuff,” he said.

Beck-Kiwanis Park fits that bill, said Cummings. Cummings said he’s already developed a master plan for the park that includes a number of upgrades.

He said he wants to either use the $40,000 from the city’s reserve fund as leverage for grants or spend the money now. He said he is leaning toward holding the cash as a grant match.

Cummings wants to rebuild the trail that runs around the park pond to make it more compatible with the American with Disabilities Act. He also plans to build a new accessible dock, several dirt docks, pond water aerators and a new bridge over the pond. The dirt docks, or embankments, will extend out from the pond shore.

“They will be little jetties that stick out for people to fish,” said he said. The pond carries both trout and catfish, said Cummings.

Cumming said Beck-Kiwanis Park is one of the city’s best attributes.

“The pond has been an asset to the city for many, many years. But, right now, it is extremely hard to go down and use that pond. The water is stagnated and there is growth that has grown up around it,” he said.

The aerators will keep the water in the pond circulating and provide oxygen for the fish population.

He said the goal is to get more people using the park.

Cummings said he doesn’t have a schedule yet on the improvements.

Debbie Folden, Ontario mayor and member of the Ontario Parks Committee, said the project vision Cummings has is important.

“I am 100% for keeping the parks up,” she said.

Folden said she’s talked with Cummings about his long-term plans for the park.

“I totally agree with it and I will support him,” she said.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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