Members of the Fremont Parks and Recreation Board learned about a plan to hire a cleaning service for three city buildings when they met Monday night.
They also learned about the possibility of using a different type of software designed to make it easier for the public to access city services.
Nick Hansen, parks and recreation director, began by talking about three open positions:
- Maintenance Worker 3–forestry. This position has been open for 260 days.
- Part-time custodian at the Fremont Friendship Center, which has been open for about a year.
- Event maintenance supervisor position.
Hansen said plans are to move a Maintenance 2 worker, who has expressed interest in the forestry department, to the Maintenance 3 position.
He said it’s easier to hire a Maintenance 2 worker than someone for the Maintenance 3 position.
The event maintenance supervisor and Friendship Center part-time custodian positions could be taken care of by having a contracted cleaner.
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Bids are being let for a contract to clean Fremont City Auditorium, Christensen Field and the Fremont Friendship Center.
The contract went into open bid on Friday.
“We’ll have bids on Feb. 1 and take it to council to see if we move forward with that,” Hansen said. “Basically, we would eliminate the events maintenance position, the events maintenance supervisor position and three part-time custodian positions with the professional contract cleaners.”
He said the contracted cleaner would clean as needed.
“It’s a pay by cleaning?” asked Aaron Paden, board member.
Hansen said yes and that the cost of having a contract cleaner would be almost the same as hiring a full-time staff position.
Currently, parks department and friendship center workers have been cleaning. Having the contract cleaners would allow city workers to do what they’re needed to do.
He said a contract for mowing services is being reviewed.
“Our guys hit a lot of the mowing,” Hansen said. “They take care of a lot of this stuff. They clean up on the back end, but when you start dealing with 22 parks (in the city), it’s a lot of mowing. We’re short-staffed on that part. Hopefully, getting the contract cleaners in there can get some of our full-time people back where they need to be.”
Hansen also said the department is possibly looking to move from SportsMan software to CivicRec, an integrated, Cloud-based software. This software not only would allow the department to take reservations online, but allow people to sign contracts online instead of having to go to the city offices.
“Everything is basically done online,” he said. “It carries a lot of functionalities to use with all of our departments.”
That could include park shelter, Christensen Field and Fremont City Auditorium rentals, swimming pool memberships, registration for recreational activities and adaptive recreation activities. People also could purchase a Ridge Cemetery plot online.
“It’s great software,” Hansen said.
Both Hansen and Nate Schwanke, recreation superintendent, said this software would move the department into the next generation.
Hansen said it must be determined if it’s financially feasible. He said the annual cost for CivicRec is about $9,000, whereas the cost of the current software is $5,500.
He believes the new software, however, could save more than $4,000 worth of work by staff on rentals, registrations, memberships and other tasks that could be done with the software.
In other business, Schwanke said the friendship center is seeing record numbers for lunch. He said manager Laurie Harms and her staff do a great job of keeping activities lively. The center serves patrons ages 60 and over.
Schwanke said parks and recreation activities during the winter break went well for students in Fremont Public, Archbishop Bergan and Trinity Lutheran schools.
The parks department worked with the Fremont Family YMCA, which provided times of free ice skating.
“We had a really good turnout for that,” Schwanke said. “I think our biggest one was about 350. In a two-hour period that’s a lot of kids.”
The next meeting will start at 7 p.m., Feb. 7 in Fremont City Auditorium. Meetings are open to the public.