Recreation Board agrees to review decision to raise dues at golf course

The public spoke. The board listened. The result was that the Recreation Board agreed to table proposed increase in membership dues at the golf course until the regularly scheduled meeting in August to allow for additional options and possible plans to be reviewed. 

The move turned out to be the theme of actions taken at the meeting held on Monday, June 18th in the what turned out to be a very cramped meeting room at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex main office due to the unusual number of visitors on hand.  

“That is all we ask for,” said visitor Stuart Toms, who opened the public comments section of the meeting by stating that he appreciated what the Board had done for the parish but thought that a 50% increase in dues was to much at one time. 

The move turned out to be the theme of actions taken by board members Brent Barnett (President), Ricky Cash, Jeff Hairston, Brandon Lamkin, Rodney Potts, Sullivan Stevens and Chris Womack at the meeting held on Monday, June 18th.

Jimmy Robinson followed by questioning if the board had someone who could write a grant application so possible help could be gained in buying the land where a proposed new nine holes would be built. This led to a another question posed by Bruce Thomas if anyone could write a grant application? President Barnett replied that it was critical that the application be written correctly to ensure that maximum funds could be gained after board member Potts replied that any application would be reviewed before being sent. 

Robinson then asked about what could be done to repair the spillway/dam of the lake that is suffering from erosion causing the road to be very difficult to drive over. JPRD Director Tommy Smith echoed Robinson’s feelings leading to the board asking engineer Paul Riley who was one of the many packed into the cramped meeting room at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex main office, to evaluate the situation and make recommendations on how this could be best repaired. 

Robert Hunter was next to address the board with a request to allow his “Stop the Violence” kickball organization for adults to continue to use the complex for their activities. This was met with a quick reply by President Barnett that the board had received several complaints about there being offensive music being played, alcohol being consumed on the premises and profanity being constantly heard. Hunter replied that these problems had been addressed to which Barnett continued by stating that he had learned that the organization that was chartered in Ruston was not allowed to use their facilities due them refusing to sign a policy and procedure agreement and that this would be mandatory if the organization was to be allowed to use the JPRD complex. No decision was made but both parties agreed to work together in order to get all issues resolved. 

Jennifer Hawkins then presented the board the audit report which she stated was a positive audit and that an “unmodified opinion” had been given. Hawkins further stated that only one finding had been noted and this was something the auditors realized was due to the size of the staff but that the Rec District showed overall strength in control of the finances.

Engineer Riley of Riley Company of Ruston then gave his recommendation that the Board reject all bids received on the golf cart shed project due to the unusual extremely high price of materials that is in place everywhere at present. 

Golf course director Becky Williams then announced that WestRock would be hosting a tournament at the golf course from June 23-25 leading to the tabling of the decision to purchase a prefabricated gazebo to be erected between the clubhouse and the lake and for a person to be allowed to rent kayaks for use on the lake. 

In final action the board also tabled the action of signing the contract to by 80 acres of land from Weyerhaeuser for the price of $2,218.00 per acre. This was due to the fact that the actual plot provided showed that the  amount of acreage offered for sale was roughly nine acres less than agreed on and clarification on what the exact acreage was needed to be learned. 


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