Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

February 25, 2014

What are recreational priorities now?

Every five years the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board must submit a master plan detailing goals for the next five years to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “To be eligible for grants, you must have a ... plan on file,” pointed out BPRB President Tim Hunter. “They want to see you’ve identified needs and that’s what you’re working toward.”

Once again, Eric Frey, Administrative Resources association, Columbus, executive director and a consultant to the city, will assist the board with the process and discussed it at the Feb. 19 monthly meeting.

Hunter reflected, “I’ve been around for a few of these (five-year) cycles now.” He was gratified to realize that over the past decade, a lot of recreational needs that had been identified, such as trails, a handicapped playground and soccer and baseball complexes, have materialized. “Eric likes working with Batesville. We can check off a lot of things from one time to the next we’ve been fortunate to be able to accomplish.”

Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer follows the five-year blueprint and “does a great job of pursuing grants to get improvements.”

Baumer and Frey will work together on the first steps in the process, to identify existing conditions and make sure assets are accurately inventoried.

This summer citizens will be asked to complete paper and online surveys and to attend public meetings to offer input. In early fall, the plan’s scope will be narrowed after sifting through public feedback. The parks board will submit a draft to IDNR, get input from employees about how to improve it, then submit the final plan in December, according to Hunter.

Rural Alliance for the Arts board member Jeff Pawlik was exploring where to hold a Sept. 13 outdoor concert starring country musician John Michael Montgomery. “They were looking at using one of the fields at The Plex or else the Liberty Park baseball field” because RAA leaders could more easily charge admission into a fenced area, the president explained. “The board was favorable in trying to help accommodate the request,” said Hunter. RAA members will do more research on logistics with Baumer.

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