By: Drew Hasselbring, News Reporter
Jasper- The Jasper Park and Recreation Board Meeting convened Tuesday night at City Hall.
The agenda included several budgeting items for both small and large scale projects to beautify Jasper and improve its public park facilities.
Park Department Director Tom Moorman gave updates on several high-profile outdoor improvement projects. Among the larger timeline projects was the new Jasper Municipal Swimming Pool. Moorman reiterated the city’s commitment to having the pool open by Memorial Day of 2025, saying that the project’s progress is on target to meet that time frame.
“So, construction documents are in. We’re looking at opening bids in the January park board meeting and then making that selection for the contractor in the February 2024 park board meeting,” said Moorman.
The board also addressed a number of improvements such as the new concrete ping pong tables in Buehler Plaza and the state of the art Ruxer Disc Golf course. Designed by world disc golf champion Eric McCabe, the newly completed course has already seen over 800 rounds of disc golf played since August. Its newly poured tee pads make it competitive, but it’s also a great spot for dog walking and bike riding. For those of you wanting to get out and visit, the Ruxer Re-open tournament is coming up on December 10th, with lots of walking trails for the casual observer.
The board discussed business items related to holiday programming, other outdoor spaces, and events at the Habig Center. Among the many opportunities worth checking out are the new Pooch’s Playground dog park, Letters to Santa at the Alexander Schoolhouse, and the Habig Center. When asked about the focus of the parks department, Moorman emphasized the park’s determination to serve the people and beautify Jasper to keep it strong, saying, “We’re in business to provide quality of life service. So, no, we do not make a profit. We don’t charge for you to go through the parks or anything else. We do our best to be good stewards of taxpayer money.”
The Habig Center offers lots of free activities for Dubois County residents 55 and older. Come in to enjoy exercise classes, Bingo, Euchre, Texas Hold ‘em, indoor and outdoor walking trails, and even catered dinners once a month for a reasonable price.
For more information on these and other updates, visit jasperindiana.gov or JasperGov-Indiana on Facebook.
The public was welcome to speak and one item received the Board’s support for geocaching, a fun activity for locals and tourists alike. Geotags will be placed in and around Jasper for GPS “treasure hunters,” allowing locals and visitors alike to explore the city in a fun and different way.
Beginning this Saturday, the Alexander Schoolhouse is getting kids ready for the Christmas season. On November 18 and December 2 from 9-11, children are welcome at the Schoolhouse to make crafts, sip hot chocolate, and write their letters to Santa. They’ll receive a pre-addressed envelope to send to Santa Claus, Indiana, where they’ll get a response sent directly from Santa’s workshop.
In addition to the Municipal Pool redesign, the Jasper Regional Wellness Center will house an indoor recreation, wellness, and aquatic center. The facility will contain a large fitness center, four full-court gymnasiums, four exercise studios, and elevated walking track, and an indoor aquatic center. It will also have five community rooms, including a community kitchen. The Wellness Center will be operated jointly by the City of Jasper and the Tri-County YMCA, in conjunction with the Indiana National Guard and Memorial Hospital.