Elizabethton Parks and Recreation seeking input for next five years of projects

Published 10:38 am Thursday, January 23, 2020

Elizabethton Parks and Recreation is seeking community input on potential projects for the 2020 year. These decisions will impact not just this year’s efforts, but the department’s efforts for the next five years.

Director Mike Mains said they come up with plans for the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years.

“Every four or five years, we will look at our recreation plan,” Mains said. “The staff will come together to discuss who we are and where we want to go.”

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Recreation Manager David Nanney said seeking community feedback is important because often their 20-year plans need revision after only a few years.

“We will have accomplished some of our long-term goals during the five-year period,” Nanney said.

Another reason for the feedback is the cost. Mains said it takes energy and financial resources to make these projects happen, and it is important for the community to express its feedback now, as opposed to the deadline in March, so Parks and Rec knows where to invest its time and energy ahead of time.

“It is important to us to work with our community,” he said. “We want to know these thoughts and ideas.”

Parks and Rec handed out surveys to attendees of their recent board meeting last week, but people can also obtain the survey both online as well as the library, city hall and the Parks and Rec building. Participants can select from a variety of potential projects, including their recent efforts with Surf Betsy.

“We are in the profession of recreation,” Mains said. “It plays an important role in our community.”

Mains did want to inform the community that even though this is a community survey, he said he wants the community to manage their expectations, saying at the end of the day, there is only so much funding to go around.

“I think we all want the best for all age groups we serve,” Mains said.

He said they have already seen several responses to the survey, saying the response indicates a vested community interest in what they are doing as a department.

“They want to see a community that is moving forward,” he said.

He said the level of support they receive not just from the community, but from city government as well, plays a big role.

“We are fortunate to have a city council that supports what we do,” he said.

Those interested in filling out a survey can do so online at www.elizabethton.org/departments/parks_and_recreation, or they can stop by in person to pick up a survey.