Our NA: Parks and Recreation Department does its job. Are the plaques ready yet?

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City Hall sounded the trumpets. That’s always an ominous sign.

Last year, with the help of community input, the New Albany Parks and Recreation Department finalized their 5 year master plan for 2017-2021. In a letter to the New Albany Parks and Recreation Board, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources stated that they have reviewed the plan, and have certified that it meets all of the department’s requirements. Additionally, Indiana DNR has validated that New Albany is now eligible to apply for Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. The letter stated that Indiana DNR supports New Albany Parks and Recreation planning efforts and encouraged participation in the grants programs administrated by the Division of Outdoor Recreation.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has a web site. In the section titled Land & Water Conservation Fund, rules for eligibility are stated.

Who is eligible?

Only park and recreation boards established under Indiana law are eligible. The park and recreation board must also have a current 5-year master plan for parks and recreation on file, approved at the Division of Outdoor Recreation.

Note the city’s self-laudatory press release, contrasted with eligibility requirements. Had the county and city park boards remained as one, and had it pursued the default strategy of writing a master plan (something public and private entities do much of the time), then the outcome could have been the same.

In short, propaganda is propaganda. Team Gahan did its job, shuffled the paper and met minimum eligibility requirements for matching grants. Doing its job is what Team Gahan (or an other governmental unit) is supposed to do. The question to ask is this: Given that these DNR grants are 50/50 matches, what projects does City Hall have in mind … and from which account will the match be drawn?

Do we all get “just do your job” trophies yet?

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