WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The Putnam County Commission and Putnam County Parks and Recreation hope to develop a master plan for the county's parks for the next several years and determine projects that would most benefit economic growth in the area.
Parks and Recreation Director Scott Williamson said he hopes to outline a plan in the coming weeks and put out a bid for consultation.
"It will probably take 30 days to secure someone to start the process," Williamson said. "We need an overall master plan that we review every five years on average to see if we're still going in the direction that the county wants to go. If we are, we go on, and if not, we deviate and re-evaluate."
Williamson said any plan outlined by the county will consider the use of Tax Increment Financing district funds. Commissioners discussed the possibility of funding projects in contiguous areas outside of the TIF district that would benefit the district, including potential multipurpose recreation fields in Hurricane.
"I'm on the [Convention and Visitors Bureau] board, and I've asked about expanding hotels, and their response is, 'Give us a reason. Give us the people. Give us the heads in the beds,'" Williamson said. "What I've been wanting to do is actually get people to come to Putnam County and to stay here for a while, to spend their money here and possibly even relocate and grow business."
Williamson said he will include potential plans for fields in Hurricane, as well as improvements and expansions to existing parks when developing the plan, but the County Commission will have to consider if it will expand the TIF district or create a shoestring TIF district to include land in Hurricane for development.
"We work well with multiple projects. These things sound good; I would just really want to hash out who will maintain and take care of [the fields]," Williamson said. "They look great at first, but they have to be maintained."
The commission voted to allow Parks and Recreation to make improvements on the wave pool at Valley Park, as well as improvements to the park's entrance road.