Recreation board reviews requests

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s parks and recreation board will meet in special session to consider a formal agreement with Community Inc., the nonprofit volunteer organization currently operating the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.

Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci asked the recreation board to consider implementing a legal agreement with Community Inc. that will be similar to formal agreements with LaBelle Neighbors Who Care and the Community for Youth Development who will be operating the Belleview Pool this summer.

“We have no structured agreement with Community Inc. I would like to have structure and a written agreement. I am asking for the board to establish a policy committee to discuss setting an agreement similar to the two volunteer groups at the pool. We may need to look at liability insurance for the recreation center like we required at the pool. I just want to make sure volunteer organizations are covered by insurance. This is not an attempt to chase anyone out but it is about setting a policy,” Mucci said Wednesday night.

Mucci made his remarks during a three-hour recreation board meeting that included a 35-minute executive session to discuss personnel.

According to Councilman at large Kenny Davis, the previous administration, “didn’t do their due diligence before agreeing to allow Community Inc. to operate the recreation center.”

Recreation Board Chairperson Sandi Rue said the policy committee also will consider policies for the Belleview Park concession stand and fees for using the basketball court at the MLK Center.

Rue, along with board members Jim Emmerling and Jason Jenkins, will serve on the policy committee.

Mucci also asked the board for approval to advertise for a recreation department intern program.

“I am trying to work out a lot of things as we move forward. As you know we have financial issues in the city, and I don’t see the chance for hiring a recreation director in the near future,” said Mucci.

In other business, the board approved several facility requests including:

The Steuben Striders for a Belleview Pool party on July 27.

An all-star girls’ softball tournament July 25-28 at the Belleview Park ball fields.

“I have also been asked by our police chief to notify everyone that the state Homeland Security officials in Columbus are requiring us to report in advance to the police department any event where 500 people or more will gather,” Mucci said.

He reported the city will be allotted several Jefferson County Community Action Council summer youth workers who will be assigned to cut grass on the hillsides above the Belleview Park ball fields.