News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

Surveys detail recreational opportunities

By Michael Butler

The results are still being tabulated from a quality of life survey conducted by the Elmore County Economic Development Authority (ECEDA). The findings will help in determining future development with recreational facilities in Tallassee.

"The response has been tremendous. I want to give a shout out to Tallassee," said Lisa Van Wagner, executive director of ECEDA.

ECEDA has been working with the Elmore County Commission along with neighboring cities and school boards with recent projects. Wetumpka and Millbrook are already reaping the benefits of recreational developments. 17 Springs in Millbrook has completed phase one of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar project.

Van Wagner

"Without those facilities being developed, we wouldn't have the catalyst we do now to be talking here in Tallassee," Van Wagner added. "They will create the economic engine, the tax revenue (and) tourism."

Phase two of the Millbrook project includes initial phases for Tallassee, Eclectic and Holtville.

"We want the community, the people and citizens to be involved in the decision-making process. We want everyone's opinions to matter."

Those who filled out surveys were able to prioritize recreational needs with the following options: additional baseball/softball fields, additional multi-purpose fields (soccer, practice field, band practice, etc.), renovate existing fields with synthetic turf, peewee football fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, community/recreation center, walking/jogging trails, splash pad, dog park, playgrounds, and open play lawns.

"Really good data came from all three communities," said Van Wagner. "We're going to evaluate it and look at it from a practical standpoint, feasibility standpoint and affordability standpoint. It will move forward."

Van Wagner said everything is conceptual at this point but expects a plan within the next few months.

"There is a certain allocation that comes through the county by way of the lodging tax. Each partner will have some contribution. It depends on what the best projects are for each community. Anything's possible. We tried to put as many options into that survey as we could.

"I am optimistic. There is only so much that we can do based on the resources that we have, but it's definitely a start of something we think is going to continue well into the future. I think the folks in Tallassee will be happy. Our goal is to bring something that will benefit everybody."

The Tallassee Recreation Center has undergone several upgrades since its conversion from a National Guard Armory in 1980.