Andover council to focus on park activities, repairs and restoration

Tim Evans

From gazebo restoration to a new batting cage and another monthly youth event, Andover Lake Park activities were a big part of discussion Monday, Aug. 1, at the monthly meeting of the Andover Village Board of Trustees held at the Andover American Legion Post home.

The village is working on restoring the gazebo in the park, from stripping wood and repainting to enhancing the facility with additional lattice trimming, fascia work, electrical additions and outside lighting.

“We want people to notice it when they drive by – even at night,” said mayor Mike Mielke, who pointed out Julie Brandt is one of the leaders of the project, instructing village summer employee Bella Tucker on the process that will including repainting the entire building.

The ceiling is also to be replaced in the structure and the seats inside the gazebo are also being redone, including new brackets. Village employees are completing much of the work. West Concrete is also fixing the cement flooring on the project.

Village officials also complimented the work ethics of Tucker, noting she moves quickly on projects and is completing a lot of small projects for Andover. Officials were going to talk to the summer employee as to how much longer she can work before having to return to school, planning to continue projects as long as she is willing.

The village also approved a request by Bruce Laleman and the Orion Outlaws traveling baseball team to install a batting cage on their home field in Andover Lake Park. The mayor said he met with Outlaw leaders at the park about where the 16 x 50-foot cage could be placed and suggested the west fence line south of the concession stand south of the entrance gate. He said trees on the north side got in the way of placing the cage on that side of the field.

The Outlaws were financing the project, with the village simply providing the property.  Village officials felt the batting cage would help enhance the park.

There was some concern about the base of the cage but officials felt it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be worked out and approved the project 6-0. Officials said it was likely the cage would be installed as soon as possible.

Elma “Mooch” Gay announced the August “Andover Adventures” activity in the park event, set for Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m.-noon at Andover Lake Park. The village is hosting a free event every month in the park for youth. 

Anyone, including youths from outside the community, is welcome to attend the event which will have a “Beat the Heat” water theme, featuring water games, bubble making, relay races and all kinds of free activities for youngsters. Anyone is welcome to attend and cool treats will also be served. Denise Lilly also helps plan activities and Ron Peterson is in charge of promoting the event.

A special movie night is being planned for Sept. 17.

The village also honored a request from members of the Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover to host a “God’s Work, Our Hands Day” for a few hours on Sept. 11. The group was seeking projects for the annual workday and village officials said they would come up with a list of simple projects that could include improvements to Lake Park. It was noted the concession stand, restrooms and benches in the park all need painting.