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Rec plans move ahead

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By Tom Wilmoth

    The town of Bedford is one step closer to being out of the Recreation Department business.

    Twenty-four of the Bedford Central Recreation Association’s 33 charter members cast ballots to elect the organization’s first board of directors this month, with the votes tallied by Bedford Assistant Town Manager Bart Warner Friday afternoon.
    The Bedford Central Recreation Association, a non-profit organization, will now be the guiding force for recreation in the town.Bedford County’s recreation department will provide oversight for the Association,—a volunteer organization—as it does for all of the associations throughout the county. In addition, the county will provide some funding, based upon the number of registrations for activities, to hire a part-time employee for the Association.
    Nine members were elected to the board in Friday’s election; 15 names were on the ballot and there were several write-in votes. Those elected included: Brian Bennett, Robert F. Clark Sr., Kim Collins, Walt King, Susan Falls Kirby, Ray Moore, April Robey, Shaun Robey and George L. Williams.
    Next July the charter memberships will expire and residents will then be able to join as regular members. Membership will cost $10 per year, but that provides a $10 discount on all sport registrations for the family over that year. Registration fees will cost $25 per sport, per participant for member families; $35 per participant for non-member families. The membership fees help provide a little bit of revenue for the Association.
    The majority of operating expenses for the Association will be from registration fees of the rec sports.
    In order to serve on the Association board, you have to be an adult member of the Association.
    Now that a board has been elected, Warner said an organizational meeting will be set up soon so that the Association’s bylaws can be adopted and officers can be elected. That will set the Association well on its way to taking over the administration of the recreation program in the town.
    The town has been in charge of the basketball program while the Association has been formed; the baseball and softball seasons will fall under the new Association’s direction.
    “That’s a little bit easier (to run) than the other sports,” Warner said.
    According to a draft of the Association’s bylaws, its purpose is to “promote social welfare and civic pride as well as sportsmanship and physical and mental well-being.