STEUBENVILLE - Mayor and Acting City Manager Domenick Mucci said Wednesday night he is preparing to ask City Council to approve funding for a part-time parks and recreation department coordinator or director and to recall in 2014 two of the four laid-off recreation aides.
Mucci told the parks and recreation board members he has been working on the city's 2014 budget, "and I believe we can do something for the recreation department because we cannot continue working like this."
The city recreation department has not had a recreation director for nearly a year after former Recreation Director Troy Kirkendall stepped down from the job.
Since Kirkendall's departure former City Manager Cathy Davison and now Mucci have been overseeing the recreation department operations with assistance from recreation board President Sandi Rue.
"We got through the summer keeping the grass cut at the parks and tot lots. But the recreation department can't continue along these lines. I still believe putting the remaining two recreation department employees under the maintenance and repair supervisor was the right move. But now with the winter months coming, the recreation department will be more of a program centered operation. And we need someone to coordinate programs and handle facility requests. I am looking at a part-time coordinator or director and maybe a part-time intern to assist the coordinator. I will be recommending these changes in the 2014 budget when it is presented to the City Council," Mucci explained.
"I would also like to bring back a couple of the recreation center aides to the Martin Luther King Center. We should know when the MLK Center is open and when it is closed," added Mucci.
In a related decision, board members agreed to immediately cease an unwritten agreement with Steubenville Community Inc. to provide volunteers to keep the MLK Center open after business hours and on Saturdays.
"Right now we have sporadic support from Community Inc. They can usually have volunteers at the MLK Center on Mondays and Thursdays. But we do not have a written agreement with Steubenville Inc. We have been in contact with Community Inc. and we have waited long enough for a written contract like we have in place for the two volunteer groups who operated the Belleview Pool this summer," said Rue.
Rue said she officially will notify Community Inc. President Michael McIntyre of the board's decision by letter.
In other business, Mucci announced the annual Breakfast with Santa will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Dec. 7 at Froehlich's Classic Corner.
"We will be accepting up to 200 reservations at the MLK Center. Every child will receive a breakfast and a gift from Santa Claus," Mucci said.
The board approved a request from the Lee Alexander West Spiritual Movement to hold an after Christmas family basketball tournament at the MLK Center on Dec. 28.
And the board denied a request from a church youth group based in Rayland to rent the MLK Center on Saturdays from Dec. 7 through March for basketball games because of a staffing issue.
The board members thanked the Trinity Health System's Mission Integrated Committee for a $230.11 donation for programs at the MLK Center.
Mucci said the Trinity Health System makes a monthly donation to area charities,