Pineville residents say they love the town’s park facilities but want officials to expand the system to include a swimming pool, dog park and tennis courts, survey results released June 25 showed.Between March and April, the Pineville Department of Parks and Recreation requested feedback on how best to spend money on its facilities and whether existing programs are meeting community needs. About 440 people responded. Kristy Detwiler, director of Pineville Parks and Recreation Department, said that while she expected residents to list a dog park and swimming pool as top needed amenities, she was surprised tennis courts made the list. The survey also revealed that residents considered the Belle Johnson Community Center in most need of renovations.Representatives from ESP Associates, which conducted the survey, recommended Pineville improve communication to residents about parks and recreation through the town’s website, social media and email blasts.ESP also recommended the town resurrect its Park and Recreation Advisory Board to help with park master planning.ESP Associates noted that a high percentage of people using Pineville’s park facilities are not residents and that the town may want to track those numbers to explore whether charging for parks may be necessary later. In December, the Town Council approved $23,000 to conduct the assessment, allowing $20,000 for the needs assessment and an additional $3,000 for printing and mailing of reminder postcards to Pineville’s 7,500-plus residents.The survey results will be used to help guide decision-making for resource allocation and applying for grants for improvements.“We need this survey in order to have a viable master plan that will allow us to apply for state and federal grants,” said Detwiler in April.Those grants include funding from Parks and Recreation Trust, Land & Water Conservation Fund and the North Carolina trails program.Also during Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, officials unanimously approved creating disciplinary guidelines for park and recreation facilities and events. The guidelines, in effect July 1, range from a Level 1 ban of up to 30 days from park facilities to a Level 4 ban of two years to forever.The bans are meant to parallel the park system’s Parents Code of Ethics and were created mostly in response to sometimes unruly children and teenagers, said Detwiler. Residents would receive a Level 1 ban if they use profanity, disrespect a park supervisor, enter the community center with someone else’s card or refuse to leave an event or facility after being asked. Possession of firearms, threatening town staff, possessing illegal drugs, vandalism and fighting could result in a Level 4 ban. Detwiler expressed reluctance at presenting the guidelines but said it was to protect the safety and enjoyment of all.
Friday, Jun. 28, 2013
Pineville park users want more amenities
Learn more: Park-needs survey results are expected within the next several days at www.townofpineville.com. Here are highlights: • 51 percent of respondents had visited a Pineville Parks and Recreation facility more than 15 times in the last year. • Jack D. Hughes Park and Lake Park were judged the top facilities. • 16 percent of respondents listed indoor pools as the most needed new facility, followed by 15 percent for dog parks and 10 percent for tennis courts and outdoor pools. • Water fitness, nature/environmental education and adult continuing-education programs were listed as the top three programs residents said they would like to see provided. • 49 percent of respondents said they would support corporate and private sponsorships to build new facilities and renovate existing facilities, while 29 percent said they would support a mix of tax and user-fee increases and 21 percent said they’d support user-fee increases.
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