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Rec board buys new equipment, approves director's pay raise
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The Great Bend Recreation Commission will purchase a field groomer and attachments for use at the Veterans Park fields. The GBRC board met on Monday and approved the specification and then the quote for a Toro Sand Pro 3040 from Professional Turf Products, a Wichita firm. The base bid was $11,284, which GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said was below the $12,000 that has been budgeted for this piece of equipment, with money coming from the capital outlay fund. However, with two attachments the total price approved Monday was $15,666.29.

The City has been using GBRC’s old field groomer but has purchased two for the new city sports complex, Henderson said.

GBRC Sports Director Chris Umphres said girls softball practice started at the new fields on Monday, and high school girls will play their first game there on March 27. The first tournament at the new complex will be on April 28.

The board held a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. After the executive session, the board voted to increase Henderson’s salary by 2.5 percent.

In other business, the board approved this year’s rules for baseball and softball, for youth and adults. The rules players will receive will reference the GBRC Facebook page, but the only real rule change is for adult softball. Umphres said the teams follow ASA rules, but this creates an extra expense for teams that also play by USSA rules in other leagues. "A lot of teams don’t like the ball and bat rules," he said. The GBRC has decided to allow players to use either ASA or USSA standard balls and bats.

The board also approved a waiver from using Generally Accepted Accounting Practices. "It is a standard resolution that we adopt every year," Henderson said.

Henderson announced that Umphres has been accepted to attend a directors’ management school the last week of August in West Virginia this year and next year. This is a nationwide program with attendance limited to 35 people.

She also announced that the transfer of the deed for the old fitness facility at 1917 17th will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday. The property was purchased by the Masonic Lodge of Great Bend in February for $21,000.

For the month of February, GBRC had 2,932 enrollments. There were 14,419 activity participants, of which 6,404 were spectators, and the commission offered 1,141 hours of supervised activities.