By Kevin Kelley
For more than two decades, Leah Trainer and the small group of dedicated volunteers who made up the Bain Park Restoration Committee have overseen the upkeep of the park’s cabin, which was built in the late 1930s.
They served as stewards of the Bain Park Restoration Fund, an account consisting of cabin rental fees and donations, and advised city leaders on how it should be spent.
But last month, by mutual agreement of members and city leaders, the Bain Park Restoration Committee formally disbanded.
The city’s recreation department has assumed responsibility for the cabin’s maintenance, said Matthew Hrubey, development administrator with the city.
“We didn’t go in with the idea that we’d disband the group,” Hrubey said, speaking of the Bain Park Restoration Committee. “That’s just the way the conversation evolved.”
At a meeting last month, city officials and committee members concluded the recreation department could offer better management experience for the cabin and park, Hrubey said. Recreation Director Kenn Kaminski and facilities manager Amanda Creque, who previously worked together for the city of Massillon, will oversee the management and maintenance of the cabin, Hrubey added. Placing oversight of the cabin and park under one department will be more efficient, he said. In July, Bain Park was named to the National Register of Historic Places, the federal government’s list of buildings, sites and locations deemed worthy of historic preservation. The designation will likely make it easier for the city to obtain grants for maintenance and preservation efforts, city officials have said.
A list of improvements to be accomplished at the cabin, which is used for community events, historical society meetings and private functions, has already been made. It includes upgrades to the kitchen, repairs to the roof and significant improvements to the building’s HVAC system, Hrubey told West Life. These improvements will be made in January, when the cabin will be closed for a week and unavailable for rentals.
“These improvements will be an extra draw for the cabin,” Hrubey said.
The Bain Park Restoration Fund, which had always been a dedicated city fund, currently has a balance of about $22,000, Hrubey said.
Trainer, who lives just across the street from the cabin, said she believes the new arrangement is a good idea. A former Fairview Park citizen of the year and longtime member of the Fairview Park Historical Society, Trainer felt a personal responsibility for the upkeep of the cabin.
Several years ago, the son of former Mayor David Bain, for whom the park and cabin are named, told Trainer, “Take care of the cabin.”
“I feel I did what Mayor Bain’s son asked me to do,” she said.