The Oconee County Department of Parks and Recreation is moving forward with plans for an external review of operation of the Department, Lisa Davol, deputy director, told the Citizens Advisory Committee on Recreation Affairs on Tuesday.
Davol told the Committee that the Board of Commissioners had requested the review of the facilities, facility usage and staff operation and that the Department is getting costs estimates at present. She said the Department should have a report back about 90 days after a contract is let.
The Commission also has told the Department to move forward with plans for additional multi-use fields at Veterans Park, Davol said, and she expects a request for qualifications for construction manager should go out in the next two weeks.
Committee member DeeDee Gaines said a brief ceremony will be held on Sunday celebrating the reopening of the Bark Park and that a Dash for Dogs 2K fun run and walk and a 5K race will follow at Veterans Park.
All of the proceeds of the Dash for Dogs will be for improvements and amenities at the Bark Park, Gaines said.
The Bark Park, an off-leash area for dogs, reopened late last year after upgrades funded in part by a $25,000 grant to the county by PetSafe, a manufacturer of electronic pet-training products.
|New Shelter And Sign At Bark Park|
Gaines said a representative of PetSafe is expected at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held at 1:30 p.m. at the facility, which is at the very rear of Veterans Park.
Parks and Recreation Director John Gentry told the Board of Commissioners last August that improvements to the fenced dog area were being funded by the PetSafe Grant and $7,000 in donations.
The improvements included a covered shelter area, additional watering areas, and divisions of the open field to accommodate dogs of different sizes.
Dash For Dogs
The Dash for Dogs 2K will begin at 2:30 p.m., and the 5K will begin at 3.
Each participant can bring a dog, provided the dog is vaccinated and on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet.
Registration is $20, and the event will take place rain or shine, according to Gaines.
Additional information about the event is available online at www.active.com.
In the search window, type in Dash for Dogs.
Davol told the Citizen Advisory Committee that the Board of Commissioners had not authorized a master plan for the county’s parks, despite the request by Gentry and the Committee for such a plan.
The external review will be based on data gathered by the Parks and Recreation Department over the last three years on usage, park fees, and staffing.
“The goal is kind of to do an internal review” of the facilities and staffing, Davol said, “to make sure we are being as efficient as possible.”
The review also will ask, “Are we able to meet future demands?” she said.
The last time any study of this sort was done was in 2004, according to Davol.
The Board of Commissioners agreed to put work on the multi-purpose fields “on the fast track,” Davol told the Citizen Committee.
The fields have been graded, but some re-engineering needs to be done based on the rock found in that initial construction process, she said.
Davol said it probably will be January of 2018 before any construction will begin and the Fall of 2018 before the fields can be used.
Davol said nothing has been done on the proposed additional tennis courts.
Funding for the multi-purpose fields as well as for the tennis courts would come from the voter-approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, according to Davol.
The meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Recreation Affairs began at 5 p.m. at the Community Center in Veterans Park.
Leslie Hunsinger, chair of the Committee, called the group to order.
The complete video of the meeting is below.