County considers city’s proposal

Henderson asks Vance to take over operations at recreation department
Apr. 23, 2014 @ 10:12 PM

Henderson City Council wants Vance County commissioners to take over operational management of the recreation and parks department.

During the Board of Commissioners’ intergovernmental committee meeting Wednesday, city council member and liaison to the county Mike Inscoe presented a proposal that the county contribute 55 percent to the recreation and parks budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 and 60 percent for fiscal year 2015-2016.

Currently, the city puts in 55 percent, and the county funds 45 percent.

With taking on more of the financial burden, commissioners would be in charge of filling the recreation and parks director position, appointing a larger portion of recreation and parks board members, and controlling the everyday operations of the recreation facilities and parks.

City council members voted and approved the proposal at their meeting April 14 with hopes the county could incorporate the change in their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year and make it effective in July.

“This is a significant undertaking,” County Manager Jerry Asycue said. “To think that we can take this on the first of July is extremely optimistic.”

Inscoe said the city council’s proposal was prompted by recreation and parks director Alan Gill’s retirement and the interest the county has in the recreation department already with its influence over the school system and tourism.

Attending commissioner Terry Garrison said he thought it would be premature to move the proposal to the full board for consideration quickly.

“I think that a lot of research should be done before we consider entertaining such an idea,” he said. “We need to know exactly what we are getting ourselves into.”

Commissioner vice chairman Archie Taylor felt there was no need to prolong the process.

“This is not something to drag out until the summer and past the fiscal year,” he said. “If we are doing to do it, we should make some decisions to include it in this current budget proposal.”

Commissioner Tommy Hester felt the change would make little difference.

“We are already involved with the rec department 45 percent,” he said. “We are talking about a 10 percent increase. We are not revamping anything.”

The committee agreed after lengthy debate to take the proposal to the full board to see if it would consider looking into it.

The committee agreed debt service payments for the Aycock Recreation Center would remain split equally among the county and city.

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.