Members of the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission on April 11 discussed creating a scholarship fund to offer financial aid to lower-income families applying to city programs, such as summer camps and youth sports leagues.
Only three board members were present during the Monday meeting, leaving them just shy of a quorum, which is needed to take a vote. The commission’s Tomye Folts-Zettner, Celia Merrill, and Chairman Charles Watkins listened to presentations and discussed ideas and possible future action items.
The preliminary discussion was facilitated by city of Marble Falls Recreation Coordinator Daulton Mobley.
“As we are implementing more and more programs with the city, we are definitely noticing the need for a scholarship program,” Mobley told commission members. “We have people who come to us and we can put them on payment plans and try to work with them to make sure we’re very inclusive with our programs, but … costs may turn (some people) away before they can get to us. I just wanted to come to y’all and open up a discussion and see if this is something the board would think will be beneficial to the city, how we can go about that, and get your ideas.”
Mobley, who has previous experience with city recreation scholarship funds, gave examples of how one might work, noting that residents could donate to the fund, grants could be acquired, and that the Parks and Recreation Department would likely divvy out financial aid among program applicants.
During the meeting, Watkins asked how splitting up funds fairly could be ensured.
“It (would be) first come, first served and a yearly basis,” Mobley said. “There could be a fund that’s just for summer camp, athletics, or we could do a Parks and Recreation overall scholarship fund.”
After receiving verbal support from the three commission members, Mobley said he and other city staff would continue researching what scholarship opportunities are available.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Board members watched a presentation on improvements happening with the city’s Parks Development Plan from Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.
Information on current and future Parks and Recreation programs is available on the department’s website.