January 16, 2014

Skating on Victor Square Pond

In recent years, skaters have been clearing off patches of snow on a few of Victor Gardens' storm water ponds.  This year a family cleared snow from the Victor Square Pond.  (This is the pond that contains the aerating pond fountain in the summer.)  Board members expressed concern about wintertime safe access to that pond, considering the pond has slippery retaining wall boulders and the sensitive plantings surrounding it.  It wasn't designed to be a recreational pond.  The question of ownership and maintenance was raised. Victor Square Pond has been for many years a successful public/private partnership.  The City of Hugo owns the park land itself, but the Victor Gardens Community Association (Master Association) supplements the city's normal maintenance budget with additional funding and care.  This pays for extra herbicide and fertilization, shrub and tree maintenance, gazebo painting, holiday lighting, etc.  Additionally, the Master Association spent many thousands of dollars a few years ago repairing electrical equipment and shoring up sinking retaining wall boulders there.  The Board understands the interest in skating close to home, but this particular pond has some "baggage" that, say, the storm water pond by the Neighborhood Activity Center & Pool doesn't have.  The Board asked Jennifer Campbell to discuss this subject further with the City of Hugo.