Recreation Authority approves facilities policy

Published 9:45 pm Friday, October 21, 2016


After months of deliberation, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Recreation Authority unanimously voted to pass the Facilities Use Policy and Regulations at its meeting Thursday.

Different versions of the policy have been presented, altered and tabled since July, and the version passed Thursday is seen as the best it can be by the authority. The policy addresses commercial, non-commercial and free use of recreation facilities around Bainbridge.

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“We have been working on this for several months trying to get the kinks worked out,” said Director Al Kelley. “I’m glad the policy is in place, and I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

The authority faced opposition by parents and other residents during the various drafting stages of the policy, with holdups ranging from the need for commercial coaches and trainers to obtain a business license from the City of Bainbridge before operating their business in city facilities to the times of day facilities would be available.

Cristie Surratt, a mother of two and one who has attended every Recreation Authority meeting for the past four months, said she was happy an agreement was finally passed.

“It’s in the best interest of the kids, being able to provide for them so they can be more competitive as they get older,” Surratt said. “I think it will be good for everybody.”

According to the policy, commercial use refers to all individuals, groups, teams, organizations businesses who charge fees for service, admissions, sell tickets, food or other items, solicit funds, donations, promote a commercial business or other money making activities, the policy reads. Twenty-five percent of money made is paid to the Recreation Authority.

Non-commercial use refers to all individuals, groups, local travel teams or businesses who reserve a facility for private or public use, where no fees are charged, nothing is sold or promoted for commercial gain and no donations are collected or solicited. No fees, insurance or releases are required for “free play”, which refers to individuals who use the facilities for casual practice.

Facilities available for commercial use, non-commercial use and free play are: Bill Reynolds Sports Park Complex 1 and 2, Bill Reynolds Sports Park Batting Cages, Bill Reynolds Sports Park Football/Multi-Purpose fields, Bill Reynolds Sports Park Basketball Complex, Floyd Tennis Complex and Potter Street Tennis Complex.

The policy states that all activities that give lessons or activities on a daily schedule must provide the Recreation Authority office with a weekly schedule each Monday prior to lesson or activity and provide payment for the presiding week.