The Union Recorder

July 6, 2013

Baldwin County reviewing Recreation Policies and Procedures

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — According to Tuesday’s Baldwin County Commissioners meeting, changes loom for the recreation department’s policy and fee structures.

Commissioners Henry Craig, District 4, and Tommy French, District 2, continually work on a recreation committee analyzing issues.

Craig said the committee met last week with county and recreation staff.

“It was determined as a result of the meeting that the current written policies that the county has do not reflect the way the recreation center is run at this time,” Craig said Tuesday. “The fee structures do not reflect how the current policy is written either.”

Recreation Department Director Bill McNair will develop a report explaining recreational operations to the committee by July 25.

French and Craig plan to bring the commissioners recommendations at the subsequent August meeting.

The District 2 commissioner wants McNair, the county finance director and staff held accountable for the finances and operation of the recreation department by making a rigid policy for all to stick to.

French said concrete policies and fee structures would erase “the leeway for mistakes” for county staff.

“We are trying to make their job easier,” he said Tuesday.

Last year, the recreation budget totaled $734,000. County Finance Director Dawn Hudson said counting rentals and money from youth camps and programs the department brought in between $70,000 and $80,000.

The fee structure isn’t well defined, according to Craig.

“The documents that we looked at during our meeting did reflect softball field usage and things like that but did not reflect the monies that the recreation department collects from individuals that play softball, baseball and football,” Craig said.

County Manager Ralph McMullen stated issues with the non-athletic programs also.

“The policy that was written initially gave variance to the park director and myself. Then there was also a clause in for non-profits,” McMullen said. “But, see the (past) board went in and made some amendments that kept altering (the policy).”

Commissioner Sammy Hall, District 3, said while the county should provide the youth service the recreation department has to help pay its way.

“We don’t ever expect it to pay 100 percent, but that fee structure ought to help support the upkeep and maintenance as part of that service that we are providing,” Hall said.