The Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District board met in regular session on Tuesday, Dec. 5. (EXAMINER PHOTO | SHARYN KOPF)
Winter weather means indoor sports for the Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District, and Tim Hales, recreation coordinator, is particularly excited about some fun changes to the basketball program.
“We’re partnering with West Liberty’s youth basketball in the second- to third-grade and fourth- through sixth-grade teams,” Hales said. “They’ll be part of the regular game schedule for the course of the program.”
Hales updated the district’s board of trustees on the rest of the winter sports numbers at their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Basketball numbers are up by 30 percent with 58 players, Hales told the board, including 16 girls. Games for the second- to third-grade team and the fourth to sixth will start Saturday, Dec. 16.
After three nights of instruction, Little Dribblers participated in performance nights at Bellefontaine High School—the girls’ team played during the high school boys’ half-time Tuesday night, while the Little Dribblers’ boys’ team took the court for a half-time game while the high school girls played Wednesday night.
In addition, 17 kids had signed up for advanced bowling as of Tuesday night, but registration is still open. They will begin competing on Dec. 17.
Hales also informed the board they’ve received about two dozen letters to Santa as of Tuesday night.
“And he’s already responded to those,” Hales replied when asked if “Santa” needed help. “We’re trying to stay on top of that.”
Every child who includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope will get something in response.
Since children often share things with Santa they might not tell anyone else, Hales informed the board he hadn’t seen any red flags in the letters that would require further investigation.
In his report, Kris Myers, parks superintendent, mentioned the success of the winter walking program, which people still appreciate.
“I’m excited for the way this program continues on,” he said.
In other board news:
- Volunteer Tyler Rister reached out to Myers regarding the Blue Jacket skate park. Rister has outlined some short-term fixes and plans to do some fundraising to buy new pieces that will fit in with whatever doesn’t need to be removed.
- The new mower the district ordered in March finally showed up this month. But at least it will be ready for spring.
- Jon Mathys is retiring as maintenance lead, effective July 2024. “That’s a significant amount of knowledge we need to transfer,” Myers said. They’ll plan to advertise for the position in January with the hope of having the new person start in February. This employee will mostly work with the pool and cemetery maintenance.
- Logan County Land Trust will provide a structural drawing of the log cabin at Myeerah. This will help them determine what it will take to preserve the building long-term.
- They’re also looking into grant dollars to make much-needed improvements at Harmon Park. There’s a good amount of money in the State Capital Budget that will be awarded sometime in the spring, and they’ve put in a request for some of that.
- Bids are being accepted for widening the walking tract at Blue Jacket Park. This would also be paid for using state funding with a completion deadline of July 24, 2024.
- A pad has been poured and they’re waiting for that to cure before putting in the permanent porta john at the Play at the Peak playground.
- Not ready to give up—especially since the parks levy request only failed by less than 100 votes in November—the board is looking into putting it on the ballot in the March primary election. “It’s been surprising and humbling the number of people who want us to go forward in the spring,” Myers said.
The next part of the process will be presenting it to the city council. “It was so close,” board president Pat Ellis added, “and we identified areas to concentrate on.”
The next Bellefontaine Joint Recreation District board of trustees meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2.