County looks at changes to parks system

Bartholomew County officials are looking at major changes to the county parks department — whether that means hiring a full time parks director or closing some of the parks that are beyond repair.

County Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said that the current situation, where the volunteer members of the parks board do a lot of the maintenance themselves, cannot continue.

Kleinhenz said the county is considering hiring a hands-on parks director, both to be working in the parks and to be in the office planning for improvements.

Kleinhenz said said the parks director would be looking for grant opportunities to repair and upgrade the county facilities.

Kleinhenz updated the County Council on the parks operations review at the council’s work session last night. Kleinhenz stressed that no decision has been made and they are still waiting to see the result of a consultant’s report on the parks.

Kleinhenz said he would like to have a proposal ready for the County Council to consider during next year’s budget negotiations.

Council President Mark Gorbett said that he was glad the commissioners and county parks board are even considering closing some of the county’s parks that are in bad shape.

The county consultant will give a report and recommendations at a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the commissioners’s chambers at the Governmental Office Building on Third Street.

For more on the county parks, click here.