Recreation plan good place to start

Recreation is one of the things that can define a community.

Good recreational facilities can make a community an attractive place to live. Unfortunately, recreation is a money loser for cities, and it doesn’t help when a city is facing budget restraints. But a lack of recreational opportunities can leave young people vulnerable to falling into bad activities.

Steubenville’s Recreation Director Mary Beth Sills has drafted a proposed five-year master plan for the city’s parks and recreation department, which outlines improvements to recreational facilities and marketing the Belleview Pool to increase usage.

There are three meetings scheduled, including today, so the public can review the plan and offer input.

The proposal includes field repairs to Murphy Field on Pleasant Heights and the installation of a new infield dirt mix at the Belleview Park ballfields. And, increasing attendance at the Belleview Pool will help defray the cost of operations and help fund improvements.

The city’s recreational facilities aren’t just for children. A daily senior swim is planned for the pool before it opens for the general public. Such activities attract many senior citizens, who use it for exercise and socializing with friends.

Having a master plan in place gives the city a blueprint to proceed with recreational services in the years ahead. Every city department needs such a plan. It gives city leaders a metric to gauge progress.

A second public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Belleview Clubhouse. A third public meeting is set for 7 p.m. on April 14 at a location to be determined.

Residents are encouraged to attend one of the meetings to listen to future plans and offer input about what they would like to see in terms of recreation in the city.