Townships consider shared recreation post

August 15, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington and Antrim townships may hire a "circuit riding" recreation director to develop and manage programs in a joint move described as "a regional approach to recreation," one township administrator said Thursday.

The Antrim Township Supervisors have officially embraced the plan and passed a resolution requesting that Washington Township join them on a grant application for technical assistance to get the program started, Township Administrator Ben Thomas said.

Washington Township Administrator Michael A. Christopher said the supervisors there will consider the idea Monday night.

Christopher credited Thomas with coming up with the idea of a shared recreation director and joint program. He said officials in both townships first discussed the proposal at a breakfast meeting in July.


The townships will apply for a $7,500 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The money will pay a consultant to study the recreational and park needs of both municipalities.

The consultant would be chosen from a list of qualified experts recommended by the DCNR, Christopher said.

Antrim Township is developing a 136-acre township park off Grant Shook Road.

It also owns the Enoch Brown Park and soon will be the owner of the Martin's Mill Covered Bridge and its adjacent three-acre park. The bridge and park are contiguous to the main township park.

Washington Township is developing its 174-acre Pine Hill Park, which touches the township's 22-acre Red Run Park, both off Pa. 16 east of Waynesboro. It also owns Happel's Meadow, a 70-acre wetlands in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., and two small playground parks, said Gerry Zeigler, township zoning enforcement officer.

Washington Township's population is 11,500; Antrim's is 12,500. Both municipalities are growing, officials said.

If the townships agree to hire a full-time parks and recreation director, DCNR will pay the first year's salary. The state will pay 75 percent of the salary the second year, 50 percent the third and 25 percent the fourth year, according to Christopher.

The consultant will evaluate parks in both townships, determine the recreational needs of each, develop a recreational plan, help establish a cost-sharing agreement and help with recruiting the full-time director, Christopher said.

DCNR would also provide $2,000 for training.

The townships have to provide job benefits for the director under the grant rules.

"Once the program is set up, the townships would share the expenses," Thomas said.

"We're both in a growth mode and we're both developing park systems," he said. "We felt the need to get together to develop a regional approach to recreation."

The Herald-Mail Articles