Riverside hoping to reopen by the Fourth of July

Published 1:15 pm Monday, April 27, 2020

If physical distancing guidelines are relaxed and businesses which were deemed “non-essential” are allowed to re-open, our intended timeline is to re-open right after the Fourth of July. The ice was removed several weeks ago, so the City has been saving on this operating expense. Stay tuned.

Scoreboards at Todd Park Complexes

Passersby and park users will notice new scoreboards being installed at Todd Park complexes to replace the existing and ill-functioning scoreboards. The funding for the scoreboards was donated via a grant through the Hormel Foundation which was approved in late 2019.

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Your Dogs Doing Their Doo-Dee

Dog owners are asked to pick up waste left by their dogs on public (and other) properties. Waste bags are available in the dog park, and if walking elsewhere, it doesn’t take much effort to place an empty plastic grocery bag (if you use plastic) in your pocket to use for grabbing the waste pile. Does this gross you out? Now, consider those do have to deal with the waste from our dog if you don’t.

Municipal Pool?

We’re nearing the deadline for needing to make a determination on the approaching season. Quite obviously, the Governor’s Executive Orders remain paramount in this decision, and if/when those restrictions are eased, local decision makers will then make the determination for our own community amenities.

Downtown Flowers

As many may or may not know, the over 240 hanging flower planters, plus the big round planters, are annually “filled” with flowers for which funding has been annually donated. This year, those funds were again “rounded up” by former Austin Mayor Bonnie Reitz, and one of the sponsors is and has been the City of Austin. The flower bid was awarded to Hilltop Greenhouse a few months back; several weeks later, the (to-be) colorful crop of multi-variety flower (seeds) were started to put into gear the season of flower-viewing pleasure for all of those who visit downtown Austin. However, given the hiring freeze which the City has implemented since that time, bringing on seasonal help to water flowers daily would be frowned upon. So, the city council has asked that the Park and Rec Department recruit volunteers (licensed drivers) to work with the program this summer. The volunteer opportunities will be posted on the web site of United Way of Mower County within the coming weeks. Training will be provided.

Parks and Playgrounds Availability

At this time, the City’s playgrounds, the skateboard park, the off-leash dog park, athletic fields and courts, and disc golf courses still remain open and available to the public. We’re not the only community allowing for such. There are quite a number of parks and rec department representatives who visit weekly via a conference call to keep abreast of what other communities are doing in response to the challenges which we (and our representative communities) have been presented over the past couple of months.

As a reminder, volleyball and soccer nets will not be installed, nor will bases, and athletic fields will not be striped or marked. The parks restrooms will NOT be opened until a later date. Please note that parks staff are not able to clean/sanitize all playground equipment following each use, so common sense should dictate when considering allowing your children to use such. Remember to practice physical distancing guidelines and all other recommended sanitation protocol, and if you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home.