Thursday, December 14, 2006

Parks & Rec Board Meeting

Last night was our monthly board meeting. Since the last meeting, I have commented during the comment period at City Council's meeting. The comments related to two issues: multi-generational indoor recreation center and collaboration with service providers to enhance youth development programming Parks & Rec offers.

A multi-generational indoor rec center is the solution for the crumbling state of the current indoor rec centers we have (Smith and Crow). Smith and Crow are wildly popular, heavily used facilities but the only repairs done on these pools in the past decade or so involves emergency repair. Smith and Crow were cutting edge facilities when they opened in the 1970s, now they are not.

The swimming programs at the schools have been cut, so the schools are no longer teaching this valuable life skill. The schools no longer use the pools attached to them so therefore the pools do not need to be attached to the school. The costs just to maintain these facilities over the next decade are skyrocketing, the inefficiencies of the building and pools contribute to the astronomical utility bills and program wide budget cuts.

City Council's 2025 vision clearly states over and over again to maintain an outstanding Parks and Recreation Department- continuing to let the indoor recreation facilities decline does not match that vision.

I am open to alternatives, the Parks & Rec department is open to alternatives besides a City funded, centrally located, cutting edge multi-generational indoor facility. If you have thought on this matter, email me or comment to the blog. We have also opened up a dialogue with a potential partner for funding and advocacy for the facility. The current facilities are deteriorating- just because a true emergency hasnt happened yet, doesnt mean we are forever immune from such things.

At the next board meeting, we have invited the Boys&Girls club to discuss youth development programming and use of Parks&Rec facilities to broaden the reach of B&G Clubs programs. I am thrilled with the innovative ways the B&GClub and Parks&Rec staff have begun to think, this potential collaboration will enhance the services currently provided by the City and the B&GClub.

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