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Lanigan outlines recreation plan

Posted 3/23/23

Republican mayoral candidate Jeffrey M. Lanigan released his plan to "Reimagine Recreation" for city residents.

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Lanigan outlines recreation plan


ROME — Republican mayoral candidate Jeffrey M. Lanigan released his plan to "Reimagine Recreation" for city residents.

The plan focuses on leadership and community engagement to deliver enhanced recreational services, activities and facilities that the community wants, needs, and deserves, said Lanigan. Highlights of the plan include bringing back the popular summer Drop-In program, dog park improvements and the pursuit of a multi-purpose indoor field house.

"Overall, community recreation has changed and advanced over the last decade, and now is the time for our community to evolve with it," said Lanigan in a released statement. "Progress through technology, changing work dynamics, increased life expectancy, changes in recreational preferences and much more must be considered. The COVID pandemic had some impact on community-based recreation, however, the change in dynamics began long before this crisis."

He said, "It is up to community leaders, including both public and private recreation professionals, to ensure that we are offering the proper multidisciplinary programs and facilities that our community deserves. There are a variety of ideas, collaborations, and energy that can be gathered through regular outreach and discussion with all local program facilitators and league officials to make sure that what we are offering is what the community wants and needs."

Lanigan's goal is to encourage and develop activities for youth, adults, and seniors of all abilities.

"My administration will talk directly with our users to ensure that we reap the social, environmental, and physical benefits of parks and recreational programs and facilities in the City of Rome," he said. "Over the last several years, there has been a void in what the city offers to its residents."

The candidate noted the "highly effective and popular" Drop-In program, which was canceled nearly three years ago. He said the program provided much-needed child care for working parents during the summer months and provided the social and physical interaction that children need.

"The program also offered swim lessons, recreational activities, field trips, and so much more for a reasonable cost," Lanigan said. "The Drop-In program was designed to operate financially self-sufficient while still remaining an affordable option for many Rome families. I have heard residents loud and clear on this topic and my administration will bring back this important summer day camp program."

Lanigan further stated that administrations that preceded the current "fought hard" to create new and elevate existing programs and recreation spaces that are essential to the community. He said his mission will be to collaborate with all leagues and organizations to serve the recreation needs of Rome.

"We will join forces with private recreation entities including supporting the YMCA and their effort to create a new YMCA facility," Lanigan said. "We will also partner with various community groups and organizations to further enhance recreation offerings. I will work hard to reestablish a strong relationship with the Rome City School District, its athletic department and its many skilled and qualified teachers, coaches and instructors."

Lanigan went on to note the city's need for a "revamped and updated" Parks Master Plan to address current and future needs of the community.

"The last plan was created in 2004 and covered the years 2005-2015, leaving the department without a clearly defined vision and strategy for the entirety of the current administration," the candidate said. "This needs to be corrected as soon as possible."

He continued, "A few years ago, the current administration proposed moving the Dog Park from its current location to Rock Park. Rather than creating a new expense to move the Dog Park, I will look to improve it at its current location and address the needs of our four-legged friends and their owners. A successful dog park not only provides areas where dogs can run and play, but also where both the dogs and their owners can socialize with their friends and neighbors."

Lanigan said his overhauled Parks Master Plan will include the creation of an indoor field house, which is "both wanted and needed" in the community. A modernized field house is an attraction for relocating families, including coaches and athletes, which will both increase the tax base as well as athlete and family involvement in recreational programs, he noted.

"This space will encourage clubs and local organizations to host events and entertainment, thus attracting outlying communities and participants," said Lanigan. "My administration will seek input from the stakeholders in developing this space during my term as mayor. The initial goal is to create an indoor space that will provide the local 'field'" for "adequate practice space during the winter months. It will take these field programs (baseball, softball, lacrosse, football, soccer, etc.) out of the hard-court gymnasiums and put them onto a turf surface, freeing up the hard court space for 'court sports' and other activities."

As for the new Nexus Center in Utica, or Accelerate Sports Complex in Whitestown, "This facility will not compete," said Lanigan. "Those facilities are designed for large-scale tournaments, programs, and events. The new indoor space will also provide a much-needed venue for birthday parties, gatherings, and other community events during the inclement weather that dominates Central New York for most of the year. The premise is to build a facility that can be expanded in the future if programming and community demand warrant it."

Under his leadership, Lanigan said he would also explore public/private partnerships and third-party programming as those business models will "help all to access and utilize this tremendous community asset."

"My administration will serve the entire community and will engage all groups and organizations who share our mission to once again provide the best recreational services and facilities to all of our residents," he added. "Together we will 'Reimagine Recreation' for the City of Rome."

"Reimagine Recreation" is part of the Lanigan Leads campaign platform.


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