- County onboard to promote recreation for citizens
By Myrna Trauntvein
Juab County has joined with Nephi City to promote recreation for area residents—the county providing for all those who live outside Nephi proper—and the city providing for those who live inside.
Nephi will also provide the facilities used such as the swimming pool, the Old Gym, ballparks and other physical facilities currently used.
"There will not be a fee for residents who live outside Nephi, for example for those living in Mona and Levan, as well as those living in the county, that will be different than the fee paid for those living inside the city," said John Bradley, Recreation Director.
Bradley met with county commissioners to discuss the recreation program available to all residents of the county, thanks to their assistance with the budget.
The county will not be contributing a fixed amount although they have budgeted for the program and have set a ceiling figure not to exceed $90,000 in one year.
The county will pay up to 50 percent of the program costs not covered by registration fees.
"We agreed that, if we give money to the recreation program, it needs to be beneficial to all residents of the county who desire to participate in recreation activities of the program run by Mr. Bradley," said Byron Woodland, commissioner.
"It is a good faith agreement," said Chad Winn, commission chairman.
Bradley said he was familiar with Nephi before he took the job as recreation director. He attended Snow College and then graduated from Utah State University.
He also worked in St. George in their recreation department and actually ran the marathon the year a change in the route was being considered. The route was changed and Bradley was able to make sound recommendations based on his experience.
"I think it says something about my personality that I like to jump in with both feet," Bradley said.
He said he had also worked in California before deciding to try for the job in Nephi.
"There is a good sense of team work and good sportsmanship here," he said.
One of his goals, said Bradley, was to improve communication so that area residents could know what was going on and when. For that reason, he had set up a website at www.nephirecreation.com. There is a Facebook page where residents can "like" Nephi Recreation. A newsletter is available to all who are interested in receiving it.
"Nephi City and Juab County are great places to live and are great places for recreation," he told commissioners. "Nephi Recreation offers programs for both youth and adults."
He said that online registration will soon be available. That way folks in the area can register from the comfort of their homes.
He will send a newsletter to those who request one, it ends up being a sort of email blitz, but provides all the necessary information about programs for the month and in the near future.
"We have about 100 people following us on Facebook, receiving our email and our newsletter," he said.
"We will start printing a recreation program brochure twice a year," he said. "This will let parents plan months ahead of the events they would like their kids to participate in."
The goal is to have the first of those publications ready by late May.
He planned to focus some attention on marketing and had come up with a logo which featured the mountainous region as part of the "n" for Nephi and the word "recreation" in a stylized banner at the bottom.
"I believe in branding," said Bradley. "In 2006, St. George adopted the logo for the marathon there that they are still using."
A brand made the logo easily associated with the program.
He said that one other thing he was intent on doing was improving the quality of the program offered. He had joined the Central Utah Parks Association knowing that membership would help the local program improve.
"I aspire to see the recreation department offer a well-rounded program," he said. "I hope to offer great programs so that we can keep people here rather than having them travel out of the county for the recreation they want."
"First we start with quality and then, potentially, with quantity."
The area had a lot to offer already, he said.
The city did have a racket ball court in the Old Gym that could be utilized. There were still roller skates at that site and that might be a possibility.
Some areas of the recreation program were strong, he said. The splash pad, swimming pool, and golf course were strengths.
"We have five lit ballfields and we have the Old Gym—it might be old but at least it is a gym—and that is more than many areas have," he said.
"I see room for growth, and the Old Gym could perhaps house a climbing wall," said Bradley.
Mona and Levan also had fields that could be used as part of the program now that the county was on board.
He had started a program of taking team photos. Four great photographers applied for the job and Kimo's was selected.
"Perhaps you could work with the Extension Office," said Winn.
Some summer programs would be partnered with the Extension Service. said Bradley.
The large senior citizen room in the basement of the county building could be used to advantage by the recreation program.
He knew that a skate park would be popular as would a BMX track.
Winn said that an area on the southeast part of Nephi was built as a 100-year flood catch basin. In the meantime, there could be a large soccer field in that basin.
"We want to promote wholesome activities that promote healthy lifestyles," he said. "We need to start where we are and improve the quality of what we have. Then we can build on that."
Small steps could be taken to add to the program, he said.