Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From Hillsborough County New

Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department To Discuss Strategic Plan At Public Meetings

Hillsborough County is holding a series of public meetings to discuss a new strategic plan for the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department (PRC). This plan has been developed to provide long-term financial sustainability and efficiencies that would result in improvement of services and a cost savings. Public comment is encouraged on this plan. All meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the following dates:

South County locations

• Tue., June 7: Gardenville Recreation Center, 6219 Symmes Road in Gibsonton

• Wed., June 22: Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Drive in Riverview

• Thu., June 23: Ruskin Recreation Center, 901 6th St. S.E. in Ruskin

Efficiency opportunities in this strategic plan that will be discussed at the public meetings include:

• Upgrading in maintenance by contracting park and athletic field maintenance to local businesses in the community

• Development of earned income opportunities including naming rights, sponsorships, and advertising

• Establishing additional partnerships with community organizations to extend limited resources

• Consolidation of smaller recreation centers into larger recreational facilities

• Improve technology to allow online registration, payments and easy access of information

PRC has evolved over the past 45 years from a department that was operated with mobile services for recreation, few small sports complexes, and a small conservation and natural resources area, to the current parks system with more than 70,000 acres of land, an award winning conservation lands program, more than 50 sports complex facilities, more than 180 parks with a multitude of opportunities, and 42 staffed community centers.

As a result of declining budgets, PRC proactively implemented changes over the past 5 years. A major change was the implementation of fees. In some cases, the fees were accepted as a positive plan to maintain accessibility in areas such as the County’s Regional Parks. In other cases, such as Summer Camp and the After-school programs, fees resulted in reduced attendance, and not enough revenue to sustain these programs.

Parks, Recreation and Conservation continues to be a top priority in Hillsborough County. However, tough economic times make it necessary to reassess the financial sustainability, funding levels and role of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department.

All meeting facilities are ADA compliant. For additional assistance, or for more information, call Rina Rojas, Parks, Recreation and Conservation at (813) 635-3501.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments on subject- Thanks!