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The community gathered Saturday morning at a Parks and Recreation forum arranged by the new Parks director Stevie Young and his staff. Citizens were given a survey to fill out asking for suggestions for improvement or ideas. They were also offered a microphone to speak with everyone in the audience and the entire recreation department staff, including the city manager, about issues with facilities or programs. Many people did voice various concerns, including some who reminded everyone of the responsibility citizens have to step up and become active in volunteering to help make change happen. A few thanked the department for providing an array of programs and activities that otherwise wouldn’t exist and that keep the youth from getting into trouble.
City Manager Terrell Jacobs also spoke with the audience about funding and why certain amenities have yet to be constructed or improved. Because of funding cuts starting at the state level, the City of Douglas had to cut budgets and assist other departments with funding. Jacobs also revealed plans for a centralized recreation area that would be able to accommodate all activities and programs the department offers. If constructed, T-ball, softball, baseball, swimming and all city teams would have one area to play and compete instead of having to disperse to different facilities around the community. The facility is in the very early stages of planning, and Jacobs urges everyone who is interested in having the facility become a reality to show support and voice their interest. The construction process won’t be possible until the next SPLOST session which will begin in a couple of years. In order to receive funding in the SPLOST for construction, the public’s support will be imperative.
An announcement on the upcoming football season was also made at the forum. The season begins on the second week of September. Coaches met on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and will then began to call for players.
Director Stevie Young welcomes all discussion and suggestions and holds an open door policy. Anyone with any concerns, questions, or comments can visit the department located beside the Central Square Gym which is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or call Young at 384-5978.
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