Video: Sustaining A Successful Parks And Recreational Service

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GOLDEN TRIANGLE AREA, Miss. (WCBI)- Quality of life.

That’s what most people want in their communities.

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And for many families and individuals, it’s the local parks and rec services that make that possible.

But just like everything else, it all comes down to the dollars

Cities need extra money in their budgets to meet the recreational needs of its residents.

Bigger cities typically succeed in park and rec services.

However it’s the smaller towns that typically struggle.

Park and recreation services allows kids throughout the community to compete against each other.

While also forming a common ground for residents to get together.

“Our citizens, citizens everywhere pretty much have an expectation of having quality play spaces, parks that are accessible and facilities that offer not only enjoyment but opportunities to help themselves to personal health and wellness,” Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman said.

That’s why the city of starkville is currently in the process of trying to expand its park and rec services.

“And our hope is among the 3 nights, we’ll get a broad array of citizens participation and we’ll get feedback that is reflective of what the citizens at large in this community really want,” Wiseman said.

City leaders are hosting meetings, asking residents for new ideas and input to make recreation better in the community.

“one of the biggest things that’s happened to our parks system over the last quarter century that helped make it what it is today, was the implementation of the 2 percent food and beverage tax,” Wiseman said. “In the early 19 hundreds 40 percent of revenue generated from the city goes into improving our parks system.”
Now while the city of starkville is having success in its park and recreation services, however, smaller cities like Eupora aren’t as fortunate.

“If you want one word, it’s money,” Eupora Mayor Burchfield said.

Burchfield said the city just simply doesn’t have the budget.

“If we had a lot more money we could hire a park director full time, pay him or her for what their having to do, hire a staff to go along with them, to give them the help, physical help they need,” Burchfield said.

Burchfield’s city is currently in the process of revitalizing the baseball parks.

The Eupora mayor said having a successful parks and rec services comes down to finding balance.

“The balance is how much money do we put in parks versus street pavement,” Burchfield said.
Starkville residents can share their ideas Wednesday and Thursday at city meetings.

Wednesday’s meeting will take place evening from six to eight at the sportsplex.

And Thursday night from six to eight at the city hall.