05/13/09 — Goldsboro begins search for new parks and rec director

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Goldsboro begins search for new parks and rec director

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on May 13, 2009 1:46 PM

More than six months after former Parks and Recreation director Sonya Shaw left Goldsboro to take a position in Garner, the city is seeking to fill the position permanently.

Interim Parks and Recreation director Gail Charles said at the advisory committee meeting Tuesday that her application for the job has already been submitted.

"Mine is in there," she said.

The process of taking applications and initiating interviews may take some time. Mrs. Charles said she didn't know how long it may be before the city names the next director.

The committee discussed the possibility of raising participation fees for its summer activity programs. Currently it costs $15 to participate in Parks and Recreation programs, while the two-week day camp program costs $80 and includes snacks, skating, putt-putt gold, bowling and other field trips.

"We're looking at the prices of all our programs and trying to be more cost effective," Mrs. Charles said. "I've got staff looking at it. None of our fees have changed since 2002. We need to go up on that."

But plans are in the works to help children of families who may not be able to afford the increases. Mrs. Charles said she will approach the city council with a proposal to allow children who receive reduced or free lunch at school to participate in the Parks and Recreation programs for free.

"I don't want to keep anybody from playing," she said.

Fees for renting the city's park facilities may also increase, but the matter is still being examined by the department.

The nice weather has been drawing many more patrons to the parks in recent weeks. More than 8,300 people visited the Herman Park Center and W.A. Foster Center in the month of April alone.

"We have more people actually using the parks this year," Mrs. Charles said.

And several of the parks are getting new equipment.

Work on a new biking/running trail is underway Stoney Creek Park thanks to the efforts of volunteer Mike Thomas, Mrs. Charles said.

Additionally, Goldsboro was recommended for a $60,000 FIT Community Grant from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund. The grant, distributed over a two-year period, would fund the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care program and pay for "born learning" signs for Stoney Creek Park and three new climbing boulders.

The surface is set for the new tennis courts at Mina Weil Park, and the electrical work for the courts is underway. Some of the parks are also getting new, larger grills. The city has also cleaned up the Mina Weil and Peacock pools in preparation for summer operations, which the city council decided will both open this summer.

More than 80 people joined the municipal golf course during the membership drive, which was extended through April 30. Including the new additions, the golf course hit an all-time record of 258 members. Total expenditures for the month of April for the course were $45,339.63 while total revenues were $41,052.