WHITMIRE — The Town of Whitmire will establish a special committee to discuss the future of Whitmire’s recreation department as well as recreation needs, Mayor Billy Hollingsworth said Monday during a called meeting to discuss recreation.
“The committee will work on things with Joey (Dillard),” Hollingsworth said. Dillard is the recreation director for Whitmire.
Hollingsworth said he would like to have at least three people on the committee, with at least one person a parent.
The committee will discuss written rules and regulations for recreational sports including but not limited to participation when it comes to attending practices and games.
Hollingsworth, whose grandchildren play sports in Rock Hill, said parents in Rock Hill are handed rules with responsibilities and expectations every season. Currently there is a code of ethics for coaches and parents on the back of registration forms, but council agreed it might need to expand on those rules.
“I think it’s our fault that we keep having these meetings (recreation) because we have nothing like this in place,” Hollingsworth said.
Because football is the next sport for the town, council and Dillard discussed needs and updates to the program.
Football cannot be played in Whitmire because they have no scoreboard and the field is not up to standards, Hollingsworth said at the beginning of the meeting. Because of this, all games this season will be played in Newberry.
Dillard presented council with bids from BSN Sports in Dallas, Texas, for a six foot by 16 inch scoreboard for the field, a football play clock, a wireless remote control for the board, and two other pieces needed for the scoreboard at $13,083.78 including freight.
Council members Chrystal Harsha and Cassie Fowler told Dillard that at least three different bids were needed before council could consider them.
Fowler also asked Dillard if he knew of any new Little League standards/rules that dealt with concussions. Dillard said the helmets were updated last year and should be fine for the next five years.
Fowler asked how much contact the athletes made with one another at practice and inquired if there were videos they could watch about contact. Dillard said most of their practices involve fundamentals and stretching and that they made very little contact until game time.
Dillard said they need blocking shields, a step-over dummy and shoulder pads. Without the cost of shoulder pads included, an estimated price would be $2,270, Dillard said.
“If we’re going to be like anyone else, we need this stuff,” Dillard said.
Hollingsworth said council would discuss how to pay for the equipment, but the money wasn’t there for the scoreboard this season.
Councilman Dwight Lane said recreation was a starting ground and to remember the point of recreation was to have fun.
“I thought the program was supposed to build them up and we need more to do so,” Dillard said.
“I don’t care if we get beat 60-0,” Lane said. “Every kid deserves the right to play.”
Dillard said most of the uniforms should be OK but they needed shoulder pads and socks.
Dillard said someone from the NFL told him the NFL would buy everything they needed, including the scoreboard, if the town guaranteed they had that in place, if Whitmire could get a tri-county conference, whether working with Union, Laurens or another city or town.
“That’s a lot of legwork, but we (council) will think about that,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth told council he would not let Whitmire’s recreation department break the town, a sentiment he had expressed before. At the end of June, Hollingsworth said they had projected roughly $30,000 would come in, but only $23,222.17 had come in.
“I’m not saying I don’t want to do it (recreation improvements), but the money isn’t there,” Hollingsworth said.
Fowler suggested they increase recreation fees. Harsha disagreed, saying they would always have people who could not or would not pay the fees. Hollingsworth agreed with Harsha, saying increasing fees might discourage participation.
Registration will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 at Whitmire Community School. Hollingsworth said the principal agreed to have a table for recreation sign-ups and called on council and Dillard to make sure the tabled was manned.
In other business,Hollingsworth said expenditures will be better documented — meaning there will be no cash payments — for the auditors and for anyone who wants to know where the money is spent.