Parks group to look for ideas from community

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Committee mission is to develop plan

By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - What direction would you like to see the parks and recreation committee take in making its recommendations to Bullitt Fiscal Court?

That will be the project over the next month for members of the committee who have been placed in charge of giving suggestions to fiscal court members.

Before making its first step since its re-creation, board member Jim White wanted to be sure about the mission of the group.

Going from the parks commission to the parks committee, White said he didn’t see a lot of difference. He never felt it was the intent of the board to take over the day-to-day operations of the county parks department.

Instead, he felt the members were there to offer ideas for consideration by the county.

“We knew that fiscal court would make the final decision,” said White, who drew the agreement of other committee members.

With that determined, the board went at its biggest task - to get a wish list from the community on what it would like in the future.

Board member Mark Mitchell said it was critical that the public gives its views. No matter the type of services sought, Mitchell said the board needs to know them.

For example, in the area of recreational sports, Mitchell said youngsters are playing more AAU competition and leaving Bullitt County to participate on Jefferson County teams.

He said that shouldn’t be something that happens. Mitchell said Bullitt County youngsters should have the opportunity locally.

In addition, he felt there were opportunities for Bullitt County to host tournaments and bring visitors to this community.

Ed Etherton, the assistant parks director for the county, said that there are ways to keep the participation numbers in the recreational sports high while still providing the AAU-type opportunities.

White said there needed to be more facilities locally to provide such opportunities as summer camps. 

Board chairman Bill Cahaney agreed with Mitchell on the importance of working with businesses in a partnership to get things accomplished.

Cahaney said he would talk with the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce directors.

But while much of the discussion centered on youth activities, Cahaney said there must be other opportunities for older citizens. He also inquired if there were any winter activities which could be promoted to increase physical activity.

Rudy Hawkins, code enforcement supervisor for the county, recommended talking with the cities to see what they offer and to see if there are any partnerships which could be formed.

With limited funds, those partnerships might be able to get more things done, said Hawkins.

Anyone with suggestions on the future parks projects, e-mail those to jc15white@aol.com by the end of December.

The next regular meeting of the Bullitt County Parks Committee will be on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 5 p.m. in the courthouse. The public is invited.