The Mad River Valley Recreation District board discussed Mad River Park usage and budget updates and plans to hire a part-time employee this week.
Members of the board reviewed which programs use the Mad River Park, what the costs are to maintain the grounds, and revenue at an August 20 meeting. In the front parlor room of the General Wait House, lit dimly with a chandelier, recreation district board members discussed their grant applicants and the process.
In the past the rec district has helped with funding for the Mad River Riders, Warren Skatepark, the bocce courts at Couples Field, Mad River Disc, pickleball and other groups. Board members discussed how they could get the word out that they are available to help with startup events or projects besides using The Valley Reporter, Facebook and Front Porch Forum.
The board members reviewed progress on Mad River Park, including how many teams use the space, for what activities and new features added to the area. The group briefly talked about an accessibility ramp for the area as something they hope can happen soon.
The pavilion at Mad River Park received a floor and picnic table and benches this year. Board members said the field has had good fortune this year with rain and that the fields are in great shape. Looking at the usage of the space, there is an uptick this summer. In addition to soccer, there were church-sponsored family events, Highland soccer camps, plus adult pickup soccer and Frisbee.
Money for the Kiosk Trailhead project is almost all but spent. The Mad River Valley Planning District has the money to complete the remaining kiosks soon. There are 20 full and small kiosks to be completed. The crunch right now is finalizing the design of the maps and reviewing the draft maps.
Board members discussed the fact that Couples Field, Waitsfield, is closed to all but previously scheduled uses due to vandalism. Members discussed getting game cameras and setting them around in locations such as Couples Field and Mad River Park.
The committee discussed hiring a part-time person to help manage the recreation district website, oversee sports registration questions and manage Mad River Park. The group talked about hiring someone with good social media skills to get the rec district more exposure. Board members are also looking for someone with grant writing skills. Board members discussed what title the position should have, between administrator, manager, executive or volunteer. When discussing pay or benefits, the board will look into what other towns are doing, such as Bristol or Waterbury, which have a paid position for their recreation department.
The board hopes to hire in September 2020.