PARKS AND RECREATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 5:30 p.m.
Administrative Complex Board Meeting Room
The September meeting of the Santa Rosa County Parks and Recreation Committee was held at the Administrative Complex beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 24, 2008. The following members were present representing the sports associations and host organizations: Larry Dixon and Darrin Nicely, Navarre Youth Sports Association, Navarre Sports Complex/Navarre Football-Soccer Park/Holley Ball Field; Michael Smith, Pace Athletic and Recreation Association, Pace Athletic and Recreational Park/Santa Rosa SportsPlex; Tom Dorsey, Tiger Point Recreational Park; Robert Foster, Chumuckla Community Center and Park, and Charles Hoard, East Milton Recreational Park.
Absent were representatives from Futbol Club of Santa Rosa, Inc., Fidelis Community Center and Park, Benny Russell Park, and Swenson Park.
Also present were the District 3 Commissioner, Don Salter, County Administrator, Hunter Walker, Administrative Services/Parks Operations Manager, Tammy Simmons, and Special Projects/Grant Coordinator, Sheila Harris.
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m.
The Administrative Services Manager welcomed all.
Committee members introduced their selves and what park they represented.
Minutes from the March 26, 2008, meeting was approved without objection as written.
Commissioner Salter addressed the committee about the concerns the sports associations have with the county transferring additional cost for utility and repair and maintenance to the associations. Salter stated he would like to see the Parks and Recreation Committee become more active as the voice of recreation in Santa Rosa County addressing improvements and capital in the parks. Salter stated his goal is to make it affordable for every kid to play recreation ball; however, there was going to have to be some type of accountability established. Salter explained in the past the county had paid for all the utilities and repair and maintenance cost from the general fund; however, with budget cuts, the parks budget had to be reduced, forcing staff to make recommendations for the sports associations to pick up the utility cost and some of the repair and maintenance cost. Salter stated he is not in favor of passing additional cost on to the Sports Association and would like to see the committee come back with a plan to present to the Board of County Commissioners where no additional cost is pasted on and possibility a percentage of last years cost that were pasted to the sports association be picked back up by the county. Salter explained the franchise fee structure and stated that if the county decided to utilize some of the recreational franchise fee to cover utility and repair and maintenance cost it would reduce the amount in the funds typically utilized for infrastructure.
Hoard stated that the East Milton Youth Association had cut back as much as they possibly could.
Next on the agenda, Sheila Harris presented the plan for submitting a grant application for the 2009/2010 Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). Harris stated the county will be submitting two grants: Holley Ball Park and Cypress Tree Park. The Holley Ball Park currently has one lighted baseball field and is utilized by NYSA as a practice field. The proposed improvements are to transition the park from a baseball practice facility to a football facility and to add a playground and picnic area. These improvements will allow more room for baseball facilities at the Navarre Sports Complex and meet a need for these facilities in this area. The projected cost for this project is $150,000 with the grant to cover 75 percent of the cost and the county to cover 25 percent of the cost. The county intends along with NYSA to cover their portion of the cost with in-kind labor. The Cypress Tree Park currently has block grills, picnic tables, one practice field, and a small amount of playground equipment. The proposed improvements are to construct a new playground area, to add a wellness station for adults, to upgrade the baseball field, and to upgrade the picnic facility. These improvements will accommodate all ages of children, will enhance existing play area, and enhance the picnic area. The projected cost for this project is $50,000 with the grant to cover 100 percent of the cost. Harris requested input from the committee on the proposed project and stated this plan has been presented at three other meetings. Dorsey questioned why Tiger Point land acquisition was not proposed. Simmons explained the District 5 Recreation Board had approved the Cypress Tree Park project and that the grant would only be in the amount of $200,000. Walker explained the rotation of the FRDAP grant process and stated once a park receives FRDAP funding, that park cannot received additional FRDAP funding.
Walked expressed his desires for the utility/repair maintenance funding plan to require the funding for these expenses to come from each individual district funds. He also expressed his desire for some level of funding for discretional repair and maintenance to come from this fund. Simmons expressed with the funding coming from the recreational franchise funds, she felt this would be an incentive for the various parks to conserve utilities. Simmons expressed the desire to receive budget information concerning revenues and expenses to be tied to this plan. Smith agreed to submit a form the PARA Board utilizes to disseminate budget information to their board. Walker expressed he would take a plan to the Board of County Commissioners on October 10, 2008. Hoard questioned since the budget had already been approved, would the proposed utilities be transferred to them. Walker stated not until a decision by the Board was made.
Simmons stated the next regular scheduled meeting is October 22, 2008.
The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.