04/19/06 — Park plan not benched

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Park plan not benched

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on April 19, 2006 1:49 PM

Stoney Creek Park Committee members have a plan -- now they are looking for money to help turn those blueprints into reality.

The committee is considering joining the Wayne Charitable Partnership, which members say could get the public more involved in the construction and funding of the park.

A number of organizations have taken advantage of the support provided by the partnerships, said Steve Hicks, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce executive director and an executive with the partnership.

Hicks said some organizations have been so successful under the support of the partnership, they have been able to create their own, independent, non-profit status.

The Wayne Charitable Partnership formed in 1982 as a 501(c) 3 organization to promote the welfare of the Goldsboro and Wayne County communities.

The purpose is to provide educational activities and boost the community finance, understanding and education, Hicks said.

Two organizations that used to be within the partnership were the Fremont Daffodil Festival and the Goldsboro-Wayne Crime Stoppers.

Hicks said both organizations continued to grow until both became independent non-profits.

Current organizations within the partnership include the Business and Education Partnership, Leadership Wayne County and Keep Wayne County Beautiful.

Hicks said, if the committee is interested in joining the partnership, the committee would need to sign an affiliate agreement, be willing to pay minimal administrative expenses and create a board of directors.

Like any other official entity, the committee would have bylaws and would have a member of the partnership attend committee meetings. Although a member of the partnership would be present, Keep Wayne County Beautiful Director Simmone Cato told the committee the partnership member would not take over the meeting.

"The organization, once it is formed, is fully accountable for their actions," Mrs. Cato said.

If the committee chooses to sign an affiliate agreement, Hicks said the partnership has an accountant that would create a new account for any money brought in by the committee. As a partnership member, the committee would be subject to an annual audit and buying a board of directors liability insurance plan, he said.

Members of the Stoney Creek Park committee said membership would benefit their efforts -- offering more accountability to the public.

Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Director Neil Bartlett said he and the other members would begin putting information together and could develop bylaws at the committee's next meeting, which is scheduled for May 18 at noon in the city manager's conference room.

The current park plan, designed by Kimley-Horn and Associates, was given preliminary approval by the City Council Nov. 7.

That plan featured a dominant six-acre lake in the middle of the property -- surrounded by trails, walking paths, a community garden area and a passive lawn.

The plan also includes a disc golf course, which plays like golf but uses Frisbees aimed at chain baskets, and will feature an informal stage area that parents can use at birthday parties or family reunions.

In previous meetings, Bartlett has said he hopes roughly $500,000 for the $2 million project will come from a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant. Additional money could come in the form of a Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant, he added.