The ramp that leads visitors down into the fossil pit at Sylvania’s Fossil Park needs repair, according to Olander Park System commissioners, who met at the park to assess the conditions tonight.
Commissioners Gail Abood, Hal McElmurry, and John Zeitler identified several problems with both the ramp and its railing, which provide access for people with disabilities and date back to the park’s 2001 opening. The ramp’s concrete has begun crumbling, and parts of the railing have rusted.
“It’s more of a cosmetic thing. It’s not a safety thing,” Olander Park System director Gary Madrzykowski said, about why the park system is concerned about the ramp now.
Ms. Abood was unhappy with how poorly the concrete has held up since it was installed 11 years ago.
“When you get to the other side, you really get to see where it’s deteriorating,” she said.
While observing the site, Ms. Abood explained to the other commissioners that she was concerned about on-going maintenance if the board members choose to just replace the railing and concrete. She suggested a block-wall concept to replace the railing.
“My concern is, we’re going to throw money at a concept that was ill-conceived to begin with,” she said, remarking that repairing the handrail will require re-setting it and treating concrete that was damaged because the handrail’s posts were not properly caulked when the ramp was built.
Mr. Zeitler also questioned the long-term maintenance costs and commitment.
But the commissioners have not formally decided when the repairs might take place. Ronald Mersereau, of Northwestern Concrete Wall Co., suggested that the repairs take place during the height of the season, which is already over for this year.
Ms. Abood agreed that the time has probably passed to get the work done by the end of the year.
“When we do this, we want it to be optimal on all accounts,” she said. Cooling temperatures could impact concrete pouring and sealing.
Two proposals for completing the project were submitted, by Johnoff Masonry Enterprises, of Toledo, and by Northwestern Concrete Wall Co.
The commissioners explained their concerns to representatives from both companies and the representatives agreed to contact Mr. Madrzykowski with cost estimates for a few different options.
The next TOPS Board of Park Commissioners meeting will be held on Oct. 22 at the Callahan Administrative Office conference room at Sylvania’s Olander Park.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: email@example.com, 419-206-0356, or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.