By Linda Dillman
Obetz residents looking for activities can soon take advantage of working out outdoors when a portion of the athletic center’s equipment is moved from the COVID-19 closed facility to a nearby concrete pad.
“The Obetz Athletic Club (OAC) liked the idea of a fresh air solution,” said Mayor Angela Kirk.
According to youth sports manager Jacob Gifford, the OAC Lite opened on Sept. 1 and will remain open until at least 2021.
“Obetz recognizes the value of safe socialization and good health during this difficult time,” said Gifford. “Essentially, we have repurposed space next to the Obetz Athletic Club to create an outdoor gym. For now, the operating hours will be Monday through Friday from sunrise to sunset, Saturday from sunrise to 3 p.m. and we will be closed on Sunday.”
Because the facility is dependent on daylight, the time will adjust every day. Lights may be added later in the year. The location is weather permitting for safety reasons.
The equipment is available to members of the community age 18 and older who are residents or pay village income tax. After showing proof of residency or tax, an identification card will be issued.
There is no shade covering over the area and there will be limited equipment available, since not all of it is suitable for outdoor use. In addition, there are no lockers, changing areas or showers, but a porta john is available.
“We are trying to give people options because we can’t use the Obetz Athletic Club,” said Kirk. “It was equipment we were going to replace anyhow.”
Kirk said another outdoor facility, the splash pad in the heart of Obetz, is popular with residents seeking relief from the heat and for children looking for a fun and cooling way to spend the day.
“We have a lot of people using it,” said Kirk. “We’ll shut it down after the Labor Day weekend, so we can get the last little bit of summer fun out of it.”
Delivery truck traffic
Frustration with delivery vehicles clogging Obetz’ residential streets by using them as a cut through from warehouse facilities could come to an end following installation of new signage and a step-up in enforcement.
“No Thru Traffic signs are going up in neighborhoods to stop delivery trucks from using the streets as through streets,” said Kirk. “If they’re in the neighborhood, they have to prove they’re making a delivery. Cutting through is a big issue and those roads weren’t built for that.”
Fortress Obetz’ new video monitor
A new video monitor at Fortress Obetz will not only afford the village better imagery on a larger screen, it could also serve as its own entertainment venue as an outdoor movie screen.
Obetz Village Administrator Rod Davisson said the village was originally discussing a smaller screen. But, an order cancellation by Facebook for the 36×18 foot 6mm $850,000 device at the $460,000 price tag for the smaller screen is an opportunity the village is not passing up.
“The money is there,” Davisson said. “The Zucchini Festival (which was cancelled due to the pandemic) budget is $500,000. For us, it’s a plug-and-play. We may need some structural improvements. We learned from the events that we have had during the pandemic, that we needed video capabilities on the front of the Fortress. It will expand the Village’s opportunities to engage our residents.
Davisson said there are five boards currently at the Fortress.
“This board will replace the front marquis, which will be repurposed as a community information sign. I don’t have the contract finalized, so no completion date yet,” said Davisson.