New parks agency opens Jan. 1

Dec. 25, 2012 @ 07:51 PM

The new year will bring new management to five parks in Guilford County — or will it?
As of Jan. 1, Guilford County will have its own Parks and Recreation Department as the county takes over the management of the five parks from city and town agencies to save as much as $354,000.
That is if the new members of the Guilford County Board  of Commissioners don’t have second thoughts and reverse the takeover. Their first opportunity would be during a Jan. 10 retreat.
Republican Commissioner Hank Henning of Jamestown wanted to bring up the new plan during a recent board meeting as the board discussed moving $291,000 in 2004 park bond money from one project to another.
“Taking over the parks is a big endeavor,” said Henning, who was the only commissioner to vote against the transfer.
Several commissioners on the 2012 board were concerned about park contract management fees of as much as 10 percent that account for $243,000 in the a $2 million budget. Management fees range from $15,000 at Guilford Mackintosh Park to $100,000 at Bur-Mil in Greensboro.
But Vice Chairman Bill Bencini of High Point and other commissioners have expressed strong concerns about starting a parks and recreation department. Bencini said earlier this year that commissioners needed more budget and capital outlay figures to avert a financial surprise. | 888-3626

Parks Management Plan

Takeover: Gibsonville had managed Northeast Park and Southwest Park since 2007; the city of Jamestown managed Gibson Park in High Point for about 10 years, and Bur-Mil Park had been operated by the city of Greensboro since it opened 25 years ago.

No change:  The city of Burlington will continue to operate Guilford-Mackintosh Park under a contract. Triad Park, owned by Guilford and Forsyth counties, will be operated by Forsyth County.

Staff: About 30 full-time workers from the five parks will become Guilford County employees.