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Galesburg Considers Creating Parks and Rec Department

Jan 26, 2015

The city of Galesburg could bring back a department to oversee its parks and its recreation programs.

Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the proposal next month.City Manager Todd Thompson said he was surprised when he came to Galesburg and saw parks and rec  didn’t have its own department.

Parks like Galesburg's Central Park would be under control of a revived parks and recreation department, if approved in February.
Credit T.J. Carson

He said the city once had a parks and recreation department but it was eliminated in the 1980s.

“Due to changes in personnel and things of that nature," Thompson said of the program's elimination.  "I’ve been told it was suppose to have been temporary.  But of course, y’know, we’re going on 25 to 30 years ago, so it didn’t turn out to be temporary.

Oversight of parks and recreation is currently handled by two departments: Public Works and Community Development.

Thompson said money has already been budgeted for a department and a director would be hired if aldermen approve the proposal.  Thompson thinks the city will benefit from having a parks and recreation department.

“You can better monitor what you’re spending on parks, as well as designate certain revenue sources that’s specifically for parks as well,” Thompson said.