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Pender County parents hope commissioner OK rec center plan

READ MORE: Pender County parents hope commissioner OK rec center plan
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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- Pender County parents say they have a tough time keeping kids off the streets and out of trouble after school hours. That's why they hope commissioners will approve a plan to build a rec center in Burgaw.

Pender County doesn't have a YMCA or Boys & Girls Club, and community activists say they desperately need the facility.

"In fact, the three main attractions in Burgaw are the jailhouse, the courthouse and the prisonhouse, and they're attracting our kids at an alarming rate," Johnny Stringfield of the Pender County Activity Council said. "That's why it's so vital that we put some facilities in place for our kids."

County commissioners will meet Monday at 4 p.m. to discuss the possibility. Once they choose a place the Pender County Activity Council says it will cost about $500,000 to build the facility.

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Well, the Commissioners

endorsed the idea. But wait; that does not mean they will build it this year and they will come.

First, they plan to appoint a committee to study sites and look into funding sources. They apparently realize there are no tax dollars available unless they cut funds designated for other programs or education.

So Step 1. Establish a Committee; that may take a while as the Commissioners deal with more pressing issues such as the Health Department, budget shortfalls, property re-evaluation for taxes, and who knows what other nonsense will come down I-40 from Raleigh.

Step 2. Have the committee identify and study sites. That could take a while too.

Step 3. Find the funds to acquire the land and build the structure. The commissioners have already pointed to grant funding as a probable source. At least, if the supporters listen objectively, the commissioners made it pretty clear there's not much if any county funding available.

Step 4. Locate a good grant writer, someone who knows how to prepare and submit grant applications. You're doomed to failure if you think anyone can sit down and prepare a grant application.

Step 5. While the first 4 steps are underway, establish a Boys and Girls Club. Force parents of these latch key and other youths to be involved in their childrens lives. Guess that will mean a little less Oprah, no evening mysteries like NCIS, and no Monday and Thursday Night football. Arrange for high school and junior high school gyms to be opened up with the Parents manning the facilities. Get the parents deeply involved and maybe some Coaches or others in the communitiy will volunteer their time to run sports and craft programs.

Step 5 hits the road running with minimal delay and can achieve the desired results a lot quicker than steps 1 through 4. Unless the economy comes back agressively, those 4 steps may sit in the starter's gate.

Rec Center

Looks like the proposal is moving forward! This COULD be an awesome event!
I have a suggestion for all those who oppose this. Let's work together for the betterment of our county! Instead of focusing on the negative...let's focus on the positive!
Granted this will take a long while to implement and complete, yet the possible benefits could be outstanding!
It WILL NOT be successful without SUPPORT! Support from our parents and support from our COMMUNITY!
My suggestion would be...let's get involved! We CAN make a difference!

Angela

that might work if they wanted others involved. Sadly they do not.

They do not want to do the research necessary to answer the very questions raised 6 or 7 months ago when they proposed this.

Where is the money to come from?

Who will be responsible for opening and closing and maintaining the facility?

How will the youth get to the facility if they live just outside the town?

Will parents be accountable for the behaviour of the children?

Until parents accept accountability and do not look at this as anything but a means to keep their youngster out of trouble while they do who knows what, this won't solve the problem.

And, again, where does the county get the money? Do they take some funds designated for education and move them into the building fund?

Do they rob some other department's budget to get the money?

Or do they pull a page from the Wilmington playbook and try to hit taxpayers with a tax increase? They're already going to face a massive drop in tax revenues when the property base is re-evaluated next year.

So Angela, you seem to be a voice of moderation. Maybe you can get them to do their homework; come up with specific answers; and not just stand there with their hands out for the Commissioners to put a blank check in.

Rec Center Propsal

First off, there is only 1 public park in Burgaw. There is also a Community baseball field. That's IT!
The sly comment, from Surf City about uncle RC was soo juvenile! And besides, look at ALL the resources available in the Western part of Pender County!!! Burgaw is the "County Seat" of Pender County and it's time to build her up!!
I think what the Stringfield's are trying to do is wonderful. We cannot afford to lose any more of our youth to crime, mischief and teen pregnancy! Remember these children WILL become adults and perhaps may live next door to you and your family in Surf City. Which would you prefer, a well balanced individual or someone who steals YOUR possessions for a living? Granted, this Rec Center can't do it alone and I do agree with Surf City Tom about parental involvement and fund-raising. Sadly, not enough children have positive parental influences. Should we disregard children for that!
"If you build it, they will come" may not be the chosen slogan BUT perhaps the slogan, more appropriately would be "WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY"

You missed

my primary point. Where is the funding to come from.

As to my comment regarding Senator Soles. Look at all he did for his district. There's a superior facility in Hampstead which was constructed with state funds he brought to the community.

Again, I ask, why can current respurces not be used. There are high school gymnasiums which could be opened after hours for Boys and Girls Club activities.

Perhaps if parents showed some initiative and accepted responsibility and accountability for thier children's behaviour, more in the County would climb on the band wagon.

But this proposal appears to be just as it was presented several months ago -- child care for the youth whose parents don't have the time or interest or both. And if the parents are not involved, you really accomplish little.

So

where do the funds come from for the land purchase?

where do the funds come from for the construction costs?

Who pays to maintain it?

And, why put it in Burgaw? What about the rest of the county?

How will the youth get to the Center? Will we then look for activity buses?

Who will man the Center when the youth are present? Are we hiring county employees for this?

Where do they think the money comes from? This topic came up a few months ago; and was detailed in this media outlet.

It was noted then, there are plenty of parks; but no one uses them.

It was noted the high school gyms could be opened; Parents could form and sponsor Boys and Girls Clubs. But then that would take their time and make them accounatble for the youthful indiscretions.

Its just not true that "if you build it they will come".

But if they are really serious, why not undertake this on the same basis as a Habitat for Humanity project? Let the youth and their parents raise the materials and other construction costs through fund raising events. Let the youth and their parnets put some sweat equity into the project.

In earlier years, while living in Richmond, my Rotary Chapter set a goal and raised $500,000 in a 5 year time period to fund a YMCA building.

Why not let the community, and not the taxpayers, raise the funds. Too bad you did not ask Uncle RC, when he was still in the Senate; he might have found some public funds for you.

Amen to that...

Here we go again, let's see how much more of our tax dollars can fund another project. An after school center will not keep kids from getting in trouble, kids will keep themselves out of trouble. I agree, let the parents and local organizations raise the money needed to build such a facility. I paid a hook up fee for county water 11 years ago and still don't have it, people all around me do. I also have been trying to get Pender County to perk my land in Burgaw for the last 15 years, can't do that either. So here I am living in Hampstead paying my taxes on a nice home with water all around me and the County does not have enough money to fund more water projects. I will not stand for a project such as this. Pender County needs to get their act together start helping those of us that help ourselves. In my travels to Burgaw, I see plenty of undeveloped land, helping people through the perking process and allowing them to build homes on their property would generate plenty of income for the county. If this issue of building a rec center comes up on the commissioners adgenda, you better beleive I will not stand for it and will fight it every step of the way.. Don't even go there.

rec center

It figures you are on the east side of the county. Place it in Burgaw because it is the county seat not topsail or hampstead has some would want. I do agree on one thing, now may not be the best financial time to build.
If the community could ban together to build something like this then there would be less need for one. The fact is the community does need it to keep latch key kids and other youth off the street.

I agree with

part of your comment. Where is the money to come from? The state? Not likely with a $3.3 Billion Budget shortfall next year.

Let the parents assume responsibility for latch key and "other" youth. Not certain what you mean by "other" youth. I can guess.

BUT, unless the parents assume responsibility and accountability for their children, this facility could quickly degenerate.

On other notes, how will the children get there? Who will man it? Who will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep?

Those questions were asked 6 months ago when this topic first appeared; the proponents could not answer the questions. The only thing which has changed is the vast majority of taxpayers are tired of funding projects which have not been well thought out.

And in the absence of specific answers on how this project will be funded and maintained, it has not been thought out.

If all it takes is for someone to throw out an idea and wait for the government to fund it, let me throw one out. A skeet range, in the Hampstead area, would do much to assist those sportsmen to maintain their shooting skills. Sportsmen funnel thousands into the local economy, annually, with licensing fees and costs to hunt and fish.

So I'll put forth the same support for the youth center that they will put forth for the skeet range. It could even be used as a range by the Sheriff's Department in off hours.