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Park and Rec hold discussion

By Staff | Jan 14, 2015

The Sistersville Parks and Recreation Board meeting was held on Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m at the James E. Willison Family Center.

The Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of handling the former middle school and the former high school gym. The department currently has people renting out the gym in order to aid with the expenses for utilities and upkeep along with improvements and repairs on an as-needed basis. They are wanting to get more people and organizations to rent it in order to further undewrite these expenses.

“We want to work to make it a better building to serve the community,” said member Alex King.

The Parks Department received permission from city council Monday to open a fund specifically for the gym, to make slow and steady improvements and repairs. “That way people can have a place they can rent, a place to go for parties, get togethers, or even business meetings and gatherings,” stated King.

David Pancake, board member, stated there was a plan to refurbish the rooms in the upper floor as well for office space, storage rooms, and other possibilities.

According to King, the Parks Department put together a Spook house this past Halloween that did extremely well and if they did repairs, there would be a possibility of expanding that particular avenue.

While there is not an immediate need for urgent repairs at that time, they wish to improve on the gym at a gradual pace to avoid the need for emergency repairs while still presenting “something the community can be proud of and use.”

Chairperson Audist Pancake stated, “The reason we will set up a separate account specifically for the gym is so if a specific person wants their donation to go to that area, then they will know without a doubt that it is not going to the general park and pool fund, that it will be redirected to that.”

King stated it is a better way for them to budget their funding, income, or donations, adding that they are appreciative of all donations.

Another subject brought up was the Paws in the Park fundraiser that is hosted by the Olive Branch. The Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Rescue is a local nonprofit “no kill” organization that is dedicated to a better quality of life and to put an end to the cruel abuse and neglect of all animals.

Paws in the Park will take place in the Sistersville Park May 23 and 24. This will be the first year that it has been held for two days instead of the one day that it has been in the past. Linda Henriksen wants it to be an all-inclusive community event, everyone coming together.

The weekend of the Paws in the Park event is the same weekend that the Sistersville pool opens, which is also the same weekend that the Alumni Weekend is happening. “So there will be a lot of people in the area. Everyone can come down and enjoy it, give donations, and take part in what the Olive Branch and everyone has to offer,” stated King.

The possibility of an event aptly named, “Lions in the Tigers Den” was also a small topic for discussion. This event would be directed toward the Lions Club of Sistersville and the Friendly Lions Club, who often helps the town. The main idea is to raise funds for the gym while still raising funds for their organizations as well. It is currently still in the planning stages. “We are trying to bring organizations together and work together for the betterment of everyone,” said King.

The next Sistersville Parks and Recreation board meeting will be held on Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the James E. Willison Family Center.