Norman Park Playground Equipment

Playground equipment at Norman Park sits idle Monday afternoon as city officials wait for approval to re-open the facility which has  been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Council members gathered at the location last week in an effort to maintain “social distancing” guidelines during the regular monthly meeting.

Hamburg Mayor Dane Weindorf said having a baseball and softball season is important for the City of Hamburg and he wants to make it happen.

The city council met the night of April 27 in an outdoor meeting at Norman Park to discuss the current restrictions caused by COVID-19 and what precautions the city may have to take when reopening certain areas.

The mayor said that until Hamburg is able to have a ball league for the local children he isn’t allowing the travel ball teams to use the complex area because he didn’t see that it was fair.

“I think that it is important that we have a ball season this year even if it’s in July or August,” Weindorf said. “It will bring our city back together.”

Weindorf said that he was awaiting instruction from the governor about reopening the park areas and that he expects those instructions will include some things that may not be feasible for the City of Hamburg.

“I hate to be like some people and tell you what’s going to happen because I don’t have any idea,” Weindorf said.

The mayor said that the police are already having issues enforcing the separation guidelines as there are several people not practicing social distancing when using the areas of the park that are open.

Weindorf said he felt like enforcing the guidelines was putting a lot of pressure on the Hamburg police.

The mayor said he anticipates that when the playground and pavilion areas are opened again that there will be guidelines that Hamburg may not be able to afford.

“It’s going to be tough when they say we can reopen, but they want us to sanitize two and three times a day,” Weindorf said. “It’s going to be a problem.” 

The council and Weindorf discussed different ideas of sanitizing and the expense of not only the sanitizing chemicals but the manpower it would take to do it. 

Councilman Mike Sanderlin said that if the state required more than what was feasible for the city, it might be a good idea to just rope off the areas.

Weindorf said that he would discuss it with the council once the official guidelines or stipulations for reopening were sent to determine if Hamburg could afford to reopen.

He also told the council that he felt that since the construction work at the park, which was started in 2019 and funded by a sales tax, was complete, it was a great opportunity to reach out and partner with the Hamburg School District on events.

Weindorf said he wants to have tailgate and bus people from the park to the football field in the fall. 

“I just think we have a great opportunity to reach out and partner with the school,” Weindorf said. 

Police Chief Johnny Oliver also told the council that he had installed 18 cameras to help prevent vandalism or criminal activity in and around the park area.

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