Recreation board hears volunteer plan

STEUBENVILLE – The Parks and Recreation board members held “a very good meeting” Wednesday night with representatives from Steubenville Community Inc. to discuss a volunteer program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.

City Manager Cathy Davison said city officials now will lay out parameters for Steubenville Community Inc. to offer services at the recreation center, “and bring those parameters back to the next recreation board meeting for the board to review and make a recommendation to City Council.”

“I was very impressed with the Community Inc. representatives and their spokesman Michael McIntyre. They had a very detailed plan and made an excellent presentation. We hope we can complete this plan in order to keep the MLK Center open for the public,” added Davison following the two-hour meeting.

“It was a very good and healthy meeting,” she added.

City officials have been looking at a number of options to keep the recreation center open after laying off four part-time recreation aides in December.

Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall also resigned in December, and the recreation center has been operating five days a week with four city employees.

The city recently received $25,000 from the Jefferson County commissioners recreation fund disbursement to be used for utility costs at the center.

Davison reported there are no plans at this point to open the Belleview Pool this year.

“We have learned the pool can’t be used for competitive swimming and we can’t put a bubble over the pool in order to use it all year. But we will also continue our discussions with community stakeholders about the future of the pool,” said Davison.

The recreation board also decided to implement an advance fee policy for individuals and organizations asking to rent a recreation facility.

“We saw the field rental fee from a local youth baseball organization from last year finally paid this week. But we don’t want to continue spending time trying to collect usage fees after the facility has been used. So we will be requiring an advance payment for any field or facility rental,” noted Davison.

The board members also agreed to charge a rental fee if any organization is interested in operating the concession stand at Belleview Park.

Several facility use requests were approved by the recreation board including:

Jim Wood baseball field, March 1 to July 31, for the Steel Valley Phenoms youth baseball team.

Jim Wood Park, July 12-13, annual Ville Rib Burn-off.

Belleview Park lower ballfields, March 1 to July 1, Steubenville Catholic Central High School baseball team.

Belleview Park, March 23-24 and April 6-7, Steubenville Girls Softball Association co-ed softball tournament.

Rotary Park baseball field, Steubenville High School baseball team from March 4 through May 17.

Jim Wood Park from March 4 through May 13, Steubenville High School girls fast pitch softball team.