Mt. Pleasant officials look to create more recreation revenue

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) --{}Council members are trying to recover costs from the town's $6 million parks and rec department. For the fiscal year that ends June 30, only $2.3 million is expected to come in.

"(We're trying to find out) how important those programs and facilities and services are to you and your family," explained Dr. Bob Barcelona of Clemson University.{}

He and Dr. Bob Brookover are associate professors doing research with Mt. Pleasant families.

"Competitive or travel youth athletics. How important is this to you?" asked Dr. Barcelona.

They're asking lots of questions about the town's recreation department, everything from the importance of parks and playgrounds to how much residents should be charged. Town leaders are paying for the study so they know how to generate more revenue from recreation.

On Wednesday night, they gathered at Alhambra Hall.

"It's important that we know the demands for the services as well as the facilities and be able to accommodate our citizens," said Thomasena Stokes-Marshall of the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Committee.

"I don't want to ruin it for everyone else, but they could probably charge. I mean, I think it's a decent price what we pay. It's not much at all for what you get, you know, for the kids to play for an entire season. I think it's fair," said Jay Moore.

He brought his family to the session. He and his wife pay $100 a year for their sons to play baseball. Like a lot of families, the Moores enjoy the town's facilities, but they're concerned about how many people are using them.

"It seems like everything is getting so busy now. There's so many people in Mount Pleasant.{} They might need to expand a little bit," suggested Moore.

And that's an option town leaders might need to consider.

Results from Wednesday night's meeting will be given to town officials on Friday morning. Thomasena Stokes-Marshall says the information will be shared with the public. {}

She said all options are on the table for creating more cash from recreation.