Easter egg hunt planned Saturday, April 3

The Italy Park Board will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 3, at 10 a.m. at Dunlap Library. Members nailed down final plans Tuesday evening at the board’s monthly meeting.

Susan Harris, board member, said she received a telephone call from Kathy French, librarian, with a list of demands regarding the upcoming event. Much of the meeting dealt with concerns expressed by the librarian.

Harris said the board overstepped their authority last year and did not communicate with the librarian, as they should have. She said the board disrespected the librarian last year. At the same time, she said the park board was new and did not realize that the librarian had been involved with details of previous hunts.

This year, city officials want to close Clark Street during the hunt but Harris said the librarian would not want the library’s 10-vehicle parking space blocked. The group eventually voted to close the street “to thru traffic.”

Those bringing children may park along the sides of Clark Street and in the library parking lot.

The park board had four age groups involved in the hunt last year. The librarian instructed the board to reduce the hunt to three groups this year – children two years of age and under, ages three to five and six to nine. The young toddlers will hunt inside the library, the middle age group will hunt in the back of the library and the older children will hunt in the front library lawn.

Stephanie Wilson, board president, said she has a problem not allowing children over nine years of age to participate in the hunt. Wilson said she is hesitant to start turning away kids.

Clover Stiles, board member, asked who was going to volunteer to tell children over nine that they cannot participate. She eventually suggested a “helper station” for children who are 10 and older to assist the younger children.

Jason Escamilla said the group could choose to “keep the peace” or move the event and do what the board wants to do.

Harris said she refused to be a part of the event if the board chose to move the hunt to a different location this year.

The group ultimately agreed to continue the event at the library this year and abide by the rules set forth by the librarian. Following the event, the group will talk to the librarian about her involvement for the 2011 hunt or discuss whether the park board wants to continue to be involved with the event.

The group authorized Stiles to purchase 3,000 pieces of candy and 1,000 eggs not to exceed $400. They currently have approximately 2,000 eggs.

Stiles volunteered to be the Easter bunny as she did last year. Harris said the librarian had someone else in mind to do the job this year.

The librarian also directed the board to watch for “egg poachers.” Harris said, apparently, there has been a problem in the past with children stealing eggs before the event begins.