The Other Bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2014

Will Marklin hopes people vote May 6 for a $5 million recreation bond, saying that money would go a long way when it comes to providing desperately needed recreational needs for everyone in the county.

“There is a great deal of money generated at sporting events and competitions; you can see that at the BB&T soccer fields.

“We all know people whose children are involved in these events, and those people are going out of town every weekend, spending money at the events, staying in hotels there and eating in restaurants. How great would it be if that money stayed here? If the events could be held here, and the revenue generated by them could stay in our county?”

Marklin is the chair of the recreation advisory committee, which is made of up people from all over the county who realize the benefits recreational facilities could provide to all residents, young and old, and from all areas of the county, he said.

Others on the committee are Mark White, Ken Budd, Mike Tester, Sandra Ferrell, Tim King, Dwayne Cookson, Mark Jones, Mike Garner and Ron Bivins. Cecil Wood, interim county manager, has been attending meetings since Beth Dirks left.

White said looking at Davie County’s ranking among other counties in the state is disheartening. Davie consistently ranks near the bottom.

While county commissioners would still have the final say about how and when bond money is spent, Marklin said the one-cent tax increase from the bond would fund Phase 1, which would provide baseball fields, turfing of the football field at the high school so that it could be used for band competitions, soccer and lacrosse, and a crow’s nest to be used for concessions.

That is if the school bond passes. If it fails and the recreation bond passes, the committee will make recommendations to commissioners for its use.

The recreation bond and school bond are separate, Marklin said, but if a new school was built, the recreational facilities could be located on the existing Davie High site. If it doesn’t pass, plans will still move forward.

The county doesn’t own any parks. Rich Park is owned by the town, and River Park is owned by Cooleemee. Because the county doesn’t own a recreational facility, they can’t apply for a grant, because a government entity has to own the property it asks to have funded. County recreational programs and facilities are managed by the Mocksville-Davie Parks and Recreation department.

Marklin said the statewide per capita expenditure for recreation is about $50, but in Davie County, it is $15. Based on the size of the county, that amount should be $34.38, he said.

Future phases of the plan could provide volleyball courts and a walking track. Marklin said while there had been mention of a public swimming pool, something that is needed, he hopes the Davie Family YMCA would be in charge of that and that it would be located near the Y.

“They’ve been in the pool business a long time,” he said.

“There are a lot of recreational needs in this county, and our committee has come together to work toward the common goal of providing something for all the citizens. The fields and walking track could be used by everyone, and from a financial and health standpoint, this would be a great asset for this county,” said Marklin.