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Parks & Rec staff meet commissioners

Posted Date: 06/14/2024

Parks & Rec staff meet commissioners

The Parks and Recreation Commission met at noon on Tuesday, June 4. Chairman Bo Phillips invited Explore Harrison Executive Director Matt Bell to present his request to the commissioners.

Bell requested permission to host a beer garden in a restricted space near the vendor area during the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship, which will be held Sept. 13-14 at the Anstaff Soccer Fields.

“It will be very controlled, and John Cathy has agreed to be the permit holder and will be present at all times. We will have the security of the Harrison Police Department and the Fire Department close by. But we’ve never had a problem in the past and don’t expect one this year,” Bell said.

The commissioners approved the request.

Parks and Rec Executive Director Chuck Eddington wanted to introduce his staff to the commissioners and thank them publicly for their hard work and dedicated service to the city. 

“One of the commissioners thanked the staff members for being the face of the city to so many out-of-town guests. You are constantly scrutinized and judged. You take a lot of pride in your work. Thank you.”

Phillips agreed, “This program has grown fast, and we’ve become known as the premiere destination for tournaments. We appreciate our partnership with the City and Explore Harrison. We make a good team, and these hard workers make us look good.”

Eddington added, “Every one of these individuals goes above and beyond. I could call any of them, and they would immediately step up to what needed to be done. It’s great to have that kind of family at work. From those who work in the office to those in the fields. We appreciate your hard work.”

Mayor Jerry Jackson said, “Parks is a great way to grow a community’s economy. Everyone is talking about quality of life. And parks make a great quality of life. We are always looking for ways to do more. Our finances are going great, but we don’t just sit on that money. We want to spend it on worthwhile projects to improve quality of life.”

CFO Luke Feighert added, “We are in the best financial position we’ve ever been.”

Eddington told the group he was anxious to see the May numbers. “We won’t get those hotel and restaurant numbers until July. But I’m sure we killed it in May. We had multiple tournaments in multiple sports, all happening simultaneously. We had lots of people working.”

Someone asked about the summer rec program. “It’s going well. We still have people signing up and are currently at 183 different kids. Of course, people will be off for vacation, but we usually average 130 kids per day. Stacey and her team are doing a great job,” Eddington said.

Libby Salmon is in charge of the outdoor pool and said things are going well. “Of course, we’ve been down a bit because of all the rain. But we have a great staff, and the weather will improve.”

Phillips added, “What a great opportunity to put so many young people to work. We know they are putting their money right back into the local economy.” Everyone laughed at that. “But seriously, they are gaining work experience, and a great staff helps our program grow.”

For more information, visit Harrison or call 870-741-2346.