Canal Winchester will spend around $60,000 on improvements to Guiler and Westchester parks.

Canal Winchester will spend around $60,000 on improvements to Guiler and Westchester parks.

Public Works Director Matt Peoples outlined the plans to Canal Winchester City Council at its Nov. 18 meeting.

He said the city will purchase new playground equipment for Westchester Park and will repair and upgrade components at Guiler Park.

"The couple of year-end projects we have budgeted for include park improvements," he said. "We were already in the planning phase and then we were able to take some of the unused funds to make the improvements now."

He said the city is contracting with Dynamic Consultants to provide and install the playground components, which "were on an end-of-year deal for 25 percent off."

According to Peoples, the Westchester Park playground will have a nature-inspired theme and will include climbing rocks and swings as well as low-maintenance mulch and edging.

"This is a nature-inspired theme that includes concrete reinforced climbing rocks for smaller kids, and the good thing is, there's no maintenance to the rocks," he said.

"All of the playground pieces have little secret features, like a little mouse carved into a nook and some fossils in the rocks.

"We'll end up with four regular swings and two toddler swings as well."

At Guiler Park, Peoples said the city will be able to replace the aging wood timbers with heavy duty, no-maintenance plastic.

The project includes work on the shelter house and replacing the mulch, according to Peoples.

"The shelter house at Guiler is going to get dressed up a little bit with new interior lights, and new sidewalls with a scalloped siding design to match the design of the play feature there, as well as some new security lights," Peoples said.

New regulations

Council also heard the first reading Nov. 21 of an ordinance to establish a new set of citywide park rules. Currently, Canal Winchester has no single set of park regulations.

"We don't really have a parks rule ordinance except for Guiler Park, so we felt we needed to get some rules in place across the board with violations and penalties," Peoples said.

The proposal sets park operating hours from 6 a.m. to dusk. Among other things, the regulations would ban the use of alcohol, drugs, profanity, fighting and "the playing of offensive music."

The availability of fields and equipment would depend on weather conditions and on previously scheduled events.

Unauthorized motor vehicles -- including but not limited to cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, golf carts, motorized scooters and bicycles -- would be prohibited except in designated areas. Persons with disabilities would be allowed to use motorized wheelchairs or similar means of transportation.

Only pets on leashes would be permitted in the parks and pet owners would be required to dispose of their pets' waste.

Overnight parking and camping in the parks would be prohibited unless approved by the city.

The use of firearms, fireworks, BB guns, archery equipment, slingshots and paint guns also would be prohibited unless authorized by the city.

Proposed rules for the use of the ponds in city parks don't allow boating, swimming, ice fishing, ice skating or walking on ice without city approval. Anglers who catch a bass or catfish smaller than 16 inches long must release the fish back into the pond. Using nets to catch fish would be banned.

The new regulations would prohibit the use of unauthorized motor vehicles on leisure paths, including but not limited to cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, golf carts, motorized scooters and bicycles. Persons with disabilities would be allowed to use a motorized wheelchair or similar transportation.

Violators could be cited into Canal Winchester Mayor's Court by Fairfield County Sheriff's deputies. Anyone convicted of a first offense would be banned from the parks for 30 days; a second offense would mean a 60-day ban and a third offense could produce a ban of one year. Anyone convicted of a fourth offense could be banned from the city parks for life.