Dorchester Co. seeks public input on parks and recreation plan

St. George, SC – Dorchester County is one step closer to developing a countywide parks system that will serve the recreational needs of county residents. On April 20th, County Council voted to approve the recently updated Parks and Recreation Master Plan in concept, and to allow Parks and Recreation Department staff to transition into the next phase in the process – gathering community input.

Dorchester County Parks and Recreation Director Eric Davis states, “Our ultimate goal is to create a sustainable parks system that county residents will support and utilize to improve their quality of life. Receiving feedback on the recommendations found in the Master Plan Update will help us get there.” Mr. Davis joined Dorchester County in September of 2014 and is tasked with growing the new department and its recreational offerings.

An online survey will be one method for soliciting citizens’ opinions of the parks plan. A link to the survey is available on the Parks and Recreation Department’s website at www.dorchestercounty.netand will be available through the end of June.

In addition to the survey, public feedback meetings will be held in various locations throughout the county. The meetings will consist of a brief presentation of the master plan update, a question and answer session, and an opportunity to provide short written comments on each park site conceptual plan. Public input meetings are scheduled for the following dates, times, and locations:

June 11th, 6:30PM – Summerville High School Cafeteria

June 16th, 6:30PM – Ridgeville Town Hall

June 18th, 6:30PM – Fort Dorchester High School Cafeteria

June 22nd, 6:30PM – Williams Memorial Elementary School (St. George)

June 24th, 8:00AM – Chamber Power Hour at County Council Chambers in Summerville

June 25th, 6:30PM – Harleyville Elementary School

Dorchester County Councilman and Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Jay Byars notes, “There is a burning hunger for parks and recreation development in Dorchester County, which is long overdue. That has been evidenced by the hundreds of people who showed up on a Saturday morning to tour a park site on the Ashley River that is not even open yet. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity. I strongly encourage everyone to weigh in on the Master Plan Update’s recommendations as it will be the guiding document for how our parks system is created.”

Following the public input period the Master Plan Update will be revised once more. A Parks and Recreation Commission approved version will be presented to County Council for final approval. The current version of the Master Plan Update recommends a November 2016 voter referendum to request funding for plan implementation.

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