Jim Owens, Director Hart County Recreation Department, was our guest speaker.  A summary of the recent construction projects was presented specifically; the two new football/soccer fields along with the 1.5 miles of walking trails at the Elberton highway facility.  A description of all the Rec. Dept. properties was provided emphasizing the recent land acquisitions of Long Point and Mill Town Campground.  The Dept. has an annual budget of approximately $330,000 that covers operations and salaries.  The recently passed SPLOST allots $500,000 over the next six years. 

            The Rec. Dept. supports numerous activities all of which are operated by the various leagues and associations.   All of the fees collected by these groups go to the County General Fund, none goes to the Rec. Dept.  Donations and Grants are the only supplements to the budget.  The first priority, once the SPLOST funds begin flowing in April are rebuilding four tennis courts.  These courts will be lined for both tennis and pickle ball.  A new Rec. building is on the wish list but the projected cost puts it into the distant future.

            The Dept. is putting together its 5-year plan.  Meetings will be held March 6 to obtain public input for the plan.  Jim urged all to attend the meetings.  Meetings will be at in the Community Room of the existing recreation building at 200 Clay St. across from the senior center.  Meetings will be at 8:30 in the morning and another at 5:30 in the afternoon.  Meetings will be publicized.