Commissioners discuss recreation options in northern part of the county

By Amanda Dodson -

County Commissioners are unanimously in favor of developing a task force to consider a recreation center in the northern part of the county.

Commissioner Ernest Lankford, who’s been a proponent of the idea, said he’s interested in looking at the possibilities and would like to receive input from members of the four to five communities it would benefit.

“I think it’s a good start,” said Commissioner Ronda Jones. “I couldn’t help but think about our community group up in Francisco because they’re such a talented group with writing grants. They may be a good resource to tap into. We have a lot of talent in this county. We just have to brainstorm and see what we can do and what our options are. We may have the facilities right here in the area. I’m not sure, but it’s something to look into.”

It took nearly 10 years to see the Stokes Family YMCA project completed, but Board Chair Jimmy Walker said he hopes to see this venture fast-tracked.

Walker recently toured Armfield Civic Center in Pilot Mountain and spoke with the staff.

“I think we can do something similar and eventually add on to it,” he said.

The board discussed applying for a recreational grant which would likely require a comprehensive recreation plan.

Darlene Bullins, Clerk to the Board, said most of the plans are estimated to be around 100 pages and are hired from the outside. She said Caswell County recently had a plan created, which was released in May and it cost $60,000. According to Bullins, Surry County updates their plan themselves, but it was originally penned from an outside source.

If the board spends money on the recreation plan and receives more than a million dollars in grant funding because of it, Walker said he viewed it as a good investment.

“If we don’t get started, it’ll never get done,” he said.

Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.

By Amanda Dodson