The mission of the Grounds Department is to provide the citizens of Bay Minette with the most attractive landscape, parks and groomed highways using the most qualified employees, best available equipment and annual planning within our means.
The Grounds Department is made up of three different departments: Grounds (landscape); Parks (athletic fields/playgrounds/parks); and Mowing (mowing/bush hogging, boom mowing).
The Grounds Department is responsible for landscaping at flower beds, highway, city facilities and walking paths. The department also oversees most landscape projects for the city and those set by the Beautification Committee.
Facilities maintained include: City Hall, Library, Old Volunteer Fire Hall, Blackburn Park, Pool Complex, Recreation Center, Douglasville community, downtown sidewalks, walking paths and all beds from Highway 31 South to the interstate.
The department has three full-time employees, which includes a foreman and two laborers. During spring and summer, part-time employees are hired through Teen Challenge to help with maintenance.
The Parks Department’s overall responsibility is maintaining and repairing equipment at these parks: Community Kids Park, O.C. Waters Park, White’s Softball Park, Ulmer Park, Sye Davis Park, Splash Pad, Universal Playground and Brownwood Park. The department also oversees maintenance at athletic fields including Halliday Park, O.C. Waters Park, Ulmer Park, White’s Softball Park, Brown Park, Soccer Complex and Simmons Field.
The department has three full-time employees, including a foreman and two laborers. During the spring and summer months, part-time employees are hired through Teen Challenge to assist with maintenance.
The Mowing Department’s scope of responsibilities includes mowing highway rights-of-way from Highway 31 South to Interstate 65. Other mowing is done year-round utilizing bush hogs and utility tractors ranging in power from 83hp to just over 100 hp, along with bushogs ranging in size from 6- to 15-feet across. The department also maintains the Carol Hodgson Arena each week including wetting, dragging and mowing. The department mows 10 miles of highway, bush hogs hundreds of acres at the airport, many rights-of-way and ditches within our city limits.
John Bower, Public Works director
John Bower earned a degree in Agronomy and Soils from Auburn University and brings more than 10
years experience in municipal parks maintenance to the Grounds Department. He began his career as a laborer then foreman for the City of Fairhope’s Parks Department. From there he went to work for Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS where he served as an Operations Superintendent and then Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. He has professional work experience in the areas of parks and building maintenance, public horticulture, urban forestry and turf management.