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Official: Rec Department could serve more in city

Brookhaven Recreation Department Director Terry Reid highlightedactivities during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, but someofficials said avenues where the department could serve moreparticipants remain.

Reid estimated 1,200 to 1,500 people had participated in thedepartment’s summer activities. He said the department is gearingup for fall activities that will begin when school starts inAugust.

“The fall activities is really when you load up,” Reid said.

Reid also mentioned a state youth softball tournament scheduledfor this weekend at the sports complex. With 22 teamsparticipating, over 800 people are expected to come toBrookhaven.

“These tournaments do have a big impact on Brookhaven and thedollars they bring in,” Reid said.

Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates, however, lamented that morepeople were not being served by department activities.

“There are some kids we’re going off and leaving behind,” Batessaid.

As in previous recreation department discussions, Bates citedthe lack of swimming pools and gym for residents and young peopleto use. He mentioned maintenance and upkeep issues.

Reid pointed out that money remained the issue and that aldermenset the department’s budget. Regarding participation, he said partof the problem is parents’ refusal to sign release forms that wouldallow their children to play.

Two swimming pools in the city were closed a number of years agoover age, maintenance and liability insurance concerns. Tuesdaynight, Reid said a pool would only be used 10 weeks out of ayear.

“We need things we can use 365 days a year,” Reid said.

Bates maintained the recreation department is funded by taxrevenue from all citizens and that more should be done to servethem.

With the discussion producing no agreements, Mayor BobMassengill suggested the Board of Aldermen and the Brookhaven ParksCommission schedule a work session to discuss concerns.

“I don’t think, tonight, we’re going to solve this situation,”Massengill said.

A date for the work session was not scheduled. Massengill saidit could be held within the next 60 days.