Parks and rec finance committee recommends policy change

The Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Commission’s Finance Committee voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to recommend that the full commission adopt a policy change concerning payments for cleaning of rented park facilities.

Current policy allows a cleaning fee of $110 to be given to parks and recreation department employees to clean the rented facilities while not on their regular work schedules. The committee — composed of Chris Blunt, Kami Hunt and Jeff Pulliam — wants department employees to be excluded from the process.

Hunt, who chairs the commission, said that she has been concerned about the practice and although it is approved policy, she wants to remove any appearance or possibility of partiality in awarding of the cleaning duties and fees.

In other business, the committee gave a nod on a suggestion by Parks and Recreation Director Angela Parker for the department to look into changing its cell phone company in order to save money. The department is going over its budget with the current service.

Parker also addressed the matter of the department being over budget on insurance. She explained that the insurance expenses will meet the budgeted amount when figured on a full calendar year.

Parker advised Alderman Steven Mays, chairman of the city council’s public works committee, that she would attend the panel’s 2 p.m. meeting today at the civic center to address a proposed resolution calling for the appropriation of funds for the renovation of Townsend Park’s baseball fields and the Merrill Center.

Others attending the commission’s committee meeting included Alderwoman Thelma Walker, Alderman George Stepps and Evelyn Horton, Mayor Debe Hollingsworth’s administrative assistant.