Transylvania County Board of Commissioners approved the Master Plan at the June 13, 2017 Board of Commissioners Meeting. The minutes pertaining to the approval of the Master Plan from that meeting are listed below:
The Parks and Recreation Master Plan was presented to the Board of Commissioners and Brevard City Council during a joint meeting in September 2016. It includes recommendations and implementation that suggest consolidation of City and County parks and recreation services. County Commissioners directed County staff to approach the City with opportunities to consolidate and to reconvene the Task Force to consider options. The Task Force recommended consolidation under a Parks and Recreation Joint Authority; however, City Council expressed they were not interested in the consolidation option at this time and suggested the City and County work on projects jointly under the Parks and Recreation scope.
The approval of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is needed in order to qualify for grants which necessitate moving forward with adoption even if the components around consolidation are removed. Parks and Recreation Director Carleen Dixon recommended Commissioners consider adopting the Parks and Recreation Master Plan as follows: Chapters 1-4, Chapter 5, Implementation, in part, to include 5.1-5.4. Sections 5.5 and 5.6 address the recommended vision for operations and staffing as well as finances that are specifically geared around a joint authority model.
5.1-5.4 of the Implementation Chapter would include:
• 5.1: Mission and Vision
• 5.2: Recommended Vision for Park Land and Trails (Goals and Strategies included in the chapter)
• 5.3: Recommended Vision for Facilities (Goals and Strategies included in the chapter)
• 5.4: Recommended Vision for Programming (Goals and Strategies included in the chapter)
It has been previously recommended by the Task Force that Commissioners consider the Master Plan for approval. Staff recommends modified adoption based on a reluctance to explore the Plan’s strong orientation towards consolidation. Commissioners may opt to exclude sections of the Implementation Chapter or accept them as a recommendation only.
Commissioner Lemel moved that the Board of Commissioners adopt Chapters 1-4 and Sections 5.1 through 5.4 of Chapter 5 of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Lemel. Commissioner Lemel commented that adoption of the Plan, even without the consolidation, affords the County many opportunities for parks and recreation services. Although there are wonderful public lands located throughout the County, the programming offered by the Parks and Recreation department is essential for healthy living and cultivating relationships with children. She said she hopes the City will reengage with the County and that we all might work together to achieve the goals listed in the Plan. Commissioner Hawkins noted that one of the items on the agenda this evening indirectly ties to recreation, that being the City’s Tannery Park Project. Commissioner Hawkins inquired about next steps. Does the Board discuss priorities so they can become part of the work plan for the coming year? The Manager suggested starting with the work plans and identifying how they want to move forward. She noted some of the work has already been included in the budget: recommendations from ADA evaluation, blue-way, and potential joint projects with the City (to be identified). Commissioner Hawkins noted there are a number of properties for which there is no master plan and wondered if this should be explored further. The Manager responded that staff can move forward with identifying and prioritizing parks and noted there is funding available for that. There is also funding in reserve that could help tackle components like the fee schedule issue. Commissioner Chappell inquired if a partial adoption of the Plan is enough to satisfy most of the requirements for grant opportunities that are available. The Manager replied yes. Commissioner Lemel stated that this document reminded her of the tremendous opportunities in front of us as a small community. Because there is a shortage of community and neighborhood parks, the Master Plan suggested utilizing community centers as areas of activity and programming, as well as partnering with the School System to turn each school playground into a neighborhood or community park. With limited resources and the struggle of finding funding across the board, this could be a great opportunity to make efficient and effective use of our resources through collaboration. Chairman Chapman commented that the Plan makes great recommendations, but they come at a price tag of $38 million to complete everything. It is paramount that the Board involves the community to establish the priorities and to continue discussions and collaborative efforts with our local government partners. He thanked staff and all those who worked on this Plan in an effort to make improvements to parks and recreation services for all age groups in the community. The motion was approved unanimously.