Reconsider Rec Plan

The previous Council presented and approved the $3.5 million Recreation Plan without conducting any post presentation public hearings to vet the plan. Why not take the time to do it right?

Locating a park next to a dump site surely begs the question, ‘What were they thinking?’

At least one carryover council member rightfully conveyed many misgivings about the rush to hastily assemble a plan. At least one carryover council person issued doubts about a plan which offered limited park substance. Some of the current Council members have expressed grave doubts about the plans viability. Much of the citizenry shares those same misgivings, plus have many other issues with the plan.

Apparently, we have quickly forgotten the lessons the Drawdy Park fiasco taught us about failed planning and improper vetting. One district’s outright rejection of its recreation plan is just one other example of how little forethought went into the plan.

Our county’s tragic health statistics clearly dictate an imperative for a recreation plan which offers a much more robust physical activity component. The Rec Plan ignores the advice of The National Recreation and Parks Association to incorporate a method to measure the parks’ contribution as venues for physical activity. The NRPA offers a free useful measuring guide on their website. Why wasn’t this reviewed it before presenting the plan?

This plan does little to improve our standing as one of the worst S.C. counties in providing access to physical activities.

No wonder our county is ranked as one of the state’s worst in physical activity participation. We do not have nor have we yet to plan a comprehensive activity environment. In fact, the county has yet to execute the 2010 directive to add more programs such as teen and adult sport leagues, boating, resistance training, fishing, boating, swimming, table tennis, weight loss programs and disc golf to its recreation program. The new Rec Plan fails to even mention any of those programs which promote health and physical activity.

Why add more parks that we cannot maintain? Fairfield’s inability to maintain the parks we have now is legendary and is a constant source of citizen complaints. This county does not need more unkempt parks which are not inviting to the public. We should have a viable park maintenance process included in the Rec Plan before we build more parks.

When will we fully incorporate American Disabilities Act compliance in our recreation facilities?

Of course, the reasons to work out a new Rec Plan are nearly infinite. They all point to one resolution – County Council must do the right thing and develop a viable Recreation Plan which allows rigorous vetting.

 

Randy Bright

Ridgeway

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