Council accepts recreation lease

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Brundidge City Council voted three to one Tuesday afternoon to accept the lease agreement between the city and the Pike County Board of Education that would give the board of education a 15-year lease on the city’s recreation facilities at the park on South Main Street. The lease also includes a two-year agreement that would turn the administration services of the recreation department over the board of education.

Council Members Betty Baxter, District 1, Margaret Ross, District 3, and Cynthia Pearson, District 4, voted in favor of the motion to accept the lease. Council Member Steven Coleman, District 5, voted in opposition. Council Member Arthur Griffin was not in attendance.

Prior to the vote, the council fielded questions about the lease, including several questions from council members.

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Baxter asked again whether students who have discipline problems at school would be allowed to participate in the recreation program.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said he had discussed this concern with Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, and there should be no restrictions of students with minor discipline problems.

Britt Thomas, city manager, said the recreation program will remain a city program that is “operated by the county school board.”

“This is the city recreation program,” he said. “It will not be an extension of the board of education.”

Pearson questioned the use of the concession stand by community groups and was told that the concession stand would be available for use by charitable organizations or for charitable events.

The council was also asked whether private citizens could use the recreation facilities. Ramage said permission for the use of the facilities would be given or denied by the person the board of education appoints as recreation supervisor. Ramage said, too, that parents would have opportunities to participate in recreation program as coaches.

“Dr. Bazzell said that we cannot have a recreation program without the parents,” Ramage said. “Parents will have opportunities to be involved in the recreation program.”

Ross said, for the program to work, it is going to take “all of us working together.”

“This can’t do anything but good,” she said. “Working together we can make the recreation program better. We have to years to try.”