Floating dock purchase approved for Fort Wayne’s Headwaters Park

March 11th, 2016

News Coverage:

March 10, 2016

Floating dock purchase approved for Fort Wayne's Headwaters Park

Kevin Kilbane | News-Sentinel

Headwaters Park soon will have a floating dock, which will be located in the St. Marys River on the west side of the park near the amphitheater.

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department's board of park commissioners approved the purchase during their meeting Thursday at Citizens Square. Headwaters Park is located at Clinton and Superior street in downtown Fort Wayne.

Dry Dock Marine of Angola submitted the low bid of $32,688 for construction and installation, based on design specifications developed by the parks department.

The dock, which will be 80 feet long, 6 feet wide and will have a gangway connecting it to the shore, can rise and fall with the river water level. It will be placed in the river each spring, removed in the fall and stored over the winter. This year, parks officials hope it can be manufactured and installed by late April.

Parks officials expect the dock to get a lot of use, including during dragon boat races and river tours by the Riverfront Fort Wayne office and the Tri-State Watershed Alliance. It also can be used by the public for fishing, launching canoes or kayaks, and for brief stops while boating on the river.

In other business, parks department Public Information Officer Natalie Eggeman said the board:

* Approved buying 34 benches for Freimann Square. The parks department has been replacing benches in the park and has more that need replacing. But staff learned the manufacturer is discontinuing the model used in the park, so parks officials wanted to buy all of the benches they will need now so they all look the same.

* Learned Foellinger Outdoor Theatre's use of a new off-site computer server provided a huge improvement in functionality and customer satisfaction for on-line ticket sales for this year's summer concerts. On the first day, 6,654 tickets were distributed at a cash value of $332,689. The concerts by rock group Heart and Ringo Starr are both sold out.

* Learned the city's warming center program was activated for 12 days this winter and had an average attendance of 38 people. On various days, warming center help was offered at either the parks department's Fort Wayne Community Center or Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. The Rev. Terry Anderson, executive director of the local Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network, sent a letter expressing his gratitude for the help provided to those in need of warm shelter.

* Learned youngsters at the parks department's Jennings, Weisser and Cooper youth centers assembled a gift bag including laundry detergent and personal-care items, and then they distributed them to families and older adults in neighborhoods around the youth center they attend. The project gave youth the opportunity to use communication and social skills with adults and taught them about character, healthy hygiene habits, entrepreneurship and giving back to the community.