Park District to decide Springfest's fate at Tuesday meetingThe Grand Forks Park District will decide Tuesday whether to allow Springfest at University Park. By then, park officials should be able to determine if the park will be able to handle the 3,000-plus people who attend the annual, unofficial celebration of the end of the UND school year.
By: Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald
The Grand Forks Park District will decide Tuesday whether to allow Springfest at University Park.
By then, park officials should be able to determine if the park, which now has piles of snow and pools of water, will be able to handle the 3,000-plus people who attend the annual, unofficial celebration of the end of the UND school year.
Springfest is May 4, a week from Saturday.
If the weather matches the balmy forecast up to decision day, Springfest will be able to go on as scheduled, said Bill Palmiscno, the district’s superintendent of parks and recreation.
“There is a lot of snow around the park,” Palmiscno said. “But the area where most of the Springfest people are located is not in bad shape. If we get the frost out and some warm days, we should be OK.”
If the park is closed to Springfest, it will be closed to everyone. Park Board members agreed with the recommendation made by the city police officials.
“They want to make sure there aren’t two Springfests,” Palmiscno said. “They’re worried 300 kids will come into University Park and have their own party.
“And, if it’s too wet for Springfest, it’s too wet for everyone.”
Palmiscno said it’s especially crucial to keep University Park in good shape this year because the expected Red River’s level and late crest could keep Riverside Park and Lincoln Drive Park unavailable until June.
Matt Winjum of Rhombus Guys, the event’s sponsor, said he has been working with city officials on a backup plan that would use Town Square and part of Third Street for Springfest.
“University Park is the best place for Springfest and Town Square would be Plan B,” Winjum said. “I’m confident one of those two will happen.
“If that all falls apart, Plan C would be not doing anything.”
Stately gets raise
Park District Director John Staley received an annual raise of about $5,000 at Thursday’s board meeting.
His yearly salary was hiked from $104,270 to $109,000 with a market adjustment raise. Park District employees have been receiving 2 percent cost-of-living raises in the last few years, according to George Hellyer, superintendent of finance.