Thank you for the opportunity to connect with the community through the weekly newspaper!
Your Leisure Services team is responsible for enhancing the quality of life through Parks, Recreation, Aquatics, Cemetery, and Special Events. This includes providing excellent programs and services that fit the needs of the community.
As we approach the end of our busiest season, summer, I’d like to share with you a glimpse of what our summer entailed and provide you with an update on changes coming ahead.
Summer Camp was a blast for approximately 150 youth ages 5-12. Our recreation staff ensured the summer was full of fun activities, presentations, and field trips. The program was hosted at Paul Huber Middle School in June and Sarah Marely Elementary School in July. The program received a $10,000 grant from the Industrial Development Authority allowing us to keep our program fee at $35 for the entire month.
As expected, rising temperatures means a dramatic increase in our daily attendance at our Aquatic facilities. The Aquatic Division operates two facilities during the summer, the Aquatic Center and the Douglas Municipal Pool at the Veterans Memorial Park. Swimming was made available to the public seven days a week and swim lessons were offered to nearly 600 community members from 6 months of age to 60 years of age. As the school year begins, you can expect to see changes in Aquatic hours of operation. The Aquatic Center will continue to operate all year and the Douglas Municipal Pool will close after Labor Day.
One of Douglas’ greatest amenities is our parks. A lot of hard work goes into maintaining these areas in addition to ball fields and city facilities. During the summer we experienced a rather high number of broken irrigation lines and event requests. As we prepare for fall sports, we will continue our efforts to repair the broken lines and removal of dead branches and trees. Removal of dead trees at the Calvary Cemetery is nearly complete and new trees will be planted soon.
Also, coming up at the City Council meeting in August, the Mayor and Council will address the fee structure regarding Parks and Recreation facilities, programs, and services. The updated fee structure will help address a long overdue adjustment to fees and include adding fees to services that were previously free. It also increases the range in fees allowing staff to set program fees accordingly. These ranges help address the minimum wage impact for staffing programs and services as well as adding flexibility to reduce the fee when other funding sources such as grants and sponsorships are available.
Additionally, the revisions include removing the City Manager from the special event approval process and assigning the responsibility to the Leisure Services Department in order to expedite the application process.
We hope to see you at the City Council meeting in August.
As your Leisure Services Manager, I thank you for the opportunity to share this information with you. Please feel free to reach me at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 520-417-7340.