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Parks and rec board unclear with SASA's role

The Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Board was expecting an update from officials of the Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association last night.

However, representatives of the organization did not attend the meeting as planned.

Board members moved forward with discussions regarding upgrades to Sunnyside's parks and recreation facilities.

Sunnyside Superintendent of Public Works Shane Fisher said the parks are being mowed and watered on a regular basis. He said 11 of 28 sprinklers at Sunnyview Park have been upgraded and are now automated.

"The sprinklers on the softball fields are included," said Fisher.

He also told the parks and recreation board members the construction of a wheelchair ramp and upgrades to the restroom at the Sunnyside Museum have not yet begun.

"I have a call into Columbia River Steel and Construction," said Fisher, explaining the Grandview firm submitted the accepted bid for the work to be completed at the museum.

Because the historic building has some logistical challenges, he said it hasn't been decided whether the wheelchair ramp will be located on the east or west side of the building. If it is installed on the west side of the building, a door there will need to be widened for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

Board member Bob Sarmiento Sr. asked Fisher about progress on the installation of a "stab" on a couple of Sunnyside's softball fields for the purposes of providing water access for dust control.

In answer, Fisher said the men's slo-pitch league agreed to help with the installation and league officials said they wanted a sprinkler installed.

"A sprinkler would be a poor solution," he said, stating a sprinkler would be difficult to control.

Fisher said he believes a better solution would be a hose and spray nozzle. That, he said, would keep the bleachers from becoming wet.

The board changed subjects, talking about the Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association and its work.

Sarmiento said he was surprised to learn parks and recreation participation fees are to be paid at the truck driving school on South Seventh Street.

He found this out when attempting to pay to use the Sunnyview Park fields for the annual Cinco de Mayo softball tourney.

Fisher said that arrangement is temporary because the city is in the process of hiring an individual to work at the Sunnyside Community Center.

He said that individual will be responsible for accepting and documenting any parks and recreation fees paid.

The board asked him about the city's partnership with the Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association. The members of the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Board wanted to know if the group has provided him with any scheduling for parks and recreational activities.

Fisher said he received a document that was difficult to understand, and he wishes to work with the group to suggest a spreadsheet or some other alternative.

He said it is important to have in place a schedule that can be easily read. Fisher said he would like to see a schedule that can be easily published for the public's informational needs.

"A piece of all this is a legal agreement between the city of Sunnyside and SASA (Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association)," said Fisher, noting an agreement has been signed by the city's attorney and is in the hands of the Sunnyside Arts and Sports Association's attorney.

He said the organization will work as an agent of the city and consists of volunteers.

"People still don't know what SASA is," said board member Dorothy Aiken.

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