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March 27, 2013
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Parks and recreation headed for reorganization

Rifle's parks and recreation departments should be managed by one person, City Council agreed at a May 20 workshop.

Currently, the two departments have separate directors, Tom Whitmore for parks and Aleks Briedis for recreation. However, the two directors and departments already work closely together, City Manager John Hier said.

The parks department is in charge of maintenance of parks and city facilities, while the recreation department oversees recreational programming at the city's parks, the fitness center and the swimming pool.

Briedis will be leaving his post on May 30 to relocate closer to his family near Chicago, which led to the reorganization, Hier said.

"What we'd propose is to create one director position with two assistant positions, one in each department," Hier said. "Staff believes that would be just as efficient, and maybe more efficient, as the current arrangement."

The change should mean the city would spend less on salaries, too, Hier added.

When the recreation department increases its programs in the summer, Hier said a temporary part-time position might be needed.

City Council will be asked to formally approve the reorganization at its April 3 meeting, Hier said.

The city will advertise internally for five days for applicants for the new director position, Hier added.

After the workshop, Whitmore said he would apply.

Whoever fills the new position could have a full plate in coming years. Rifle voters will likely decide this fall whether to approve a tax increase to help build a new city recreation center, and Briedis said the city also plans to move ahead soon with improvements to Deerfield Park, including a new concession stand, bleachers, restrooms, dugouts and a pedestrian plaza.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 27, 2013 05:34PM Published Mar 27, 2013 05:33PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.