County to vote on rec board

Published 4:01 pm Friday, January 9, 2015

The Butler County Commission discussed disbanding the Butler County Park and Recreation Board at its workshop on Thursday night.

The Butler County Park and Recreation Board was created by the BC Commission. It distributes monies that were being allocated from the county to the Georgiana, McKenzie and Greenville park and rec boards.

Commissioners were asked by Butler County Commission Chairman Allin Whittle to give their opinion on the matter at the meeting.

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All said that it would be a good idea to disband the board.

“My recommendation would be to disband the board seeing how it’s completely outdated and no meetings have been taking place,” District 5 Commissioner Darrell Sanders said.

Commissioner Frank Hickman of District 3 said by looking at who served on the board, their terms expired a good while ago.

“This has been an ongoing topic of discussion for years,” Hickman said. “(The board) has done some very good things for some citizens, and for enhancing the quality of life for Butler County.”

Hickman added that the rec board was a “loose organization” and wasn’t run at the level it should’ve been run in and what the commission expected of it.

“This commission should accept some responsibility for it,” he said of the disbanding. “I don’t disagree with Commissioner Sanders that it may be time to disband this parks and recreation board. There may be benefits that we can provide in a recreational aspect without having this board in existence.”

Hickman said one of the problems with having a rec board is finding the people to run it because it’s a non-paying and thankless job.

Being that Thursday’s meeting was a workshop only, the commission couldn’t take action on the disbandment. The commission will cast its vote on the resolution on Monday morning at its regularly scheduled meeting.

“It’s done some good things,” District 2 Commissioner Jessie McWilliams said. “There are a lot of people on that board that’s done good things for children. We don’t kneed to forget that. We don’t need to remember one bad thing that happened or what happened.”

In a separate, but related issue, Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell, who is serving as a representative of Georgiana’s rec board, asked the commission to consider giving some funds for projects within the parks and recreation department in Georgiana.

“I come tonight asking you for funding for different projects we have going on in Georgiana that need through parks and recreation,” Powell said. “The fence and stuff for the softball fields is in need of repair.”

Powell said his main concern right now are the visitor’s toilets on the softball fields.

“The toilets in there don’t work properly. They’ll flush it one time and then they can’t flush it again. Now, we’re in a situation where young ladies and men can’t go to the bathroom.”

Powell also said the field, in certain areas around the second and third base line, hold water “real bad.”

“We’re in need of soil to build it up,” he said.

Additionally, Powell said the dugouts need work and the basketball courts need nets on the rims.

McWilliams asked for a dollar amount to get an idea of how much this would cost.

Powell said between $8,000-$10,000.

Then, Hickman asked what’s the top priority for the repairs.

“The toilets,” Powell said.

Hickman asked whether Powell has addressed the concerns to the City of Georgiana and the school, and whether or not the city has the financial backing and will to make the repairs.

Powell said no, “the financial ability is not there at this time.”

Sanders said in order for the commission to act on this, they’d have to do it real soon because the baseball and softball seasons begin soon.

Additionally, Hickman said the mayor and council of Georgiana has to make a request to the county commission that work be done.