Monroe approves new trail committee, removes parks and rec commission

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City of Monroe logo

The Monroe City Council this week approved a pair of resolutions to permanently dissolve one committee and create another.

On Monday, the city council unanimously voted to eliminate its Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, which had not met for many years as its core responsibilities have been taken over by the city's partnership with other organizations around the community.

Acting city manager Ed Sell said the Monroe Family YMCA has taken the lead on many recreation and community entertainment programs. The city also works closely with the Monroe County Opportunity Program (MCOP) and the Opportunity Center at Arthur Lesow Community Center to provide other educational and recreational programming, such as Tot Lot.

"With the direction the city has taken in recent years ... it's being recommended (the commission) be eliminated," Sell said.

Before the largely procedural vote, Monroe Mayor Robert Clark clarified that parks and recreation projects remain an important part of the city's focus.

"We're going to be delivering it in a different fashion with partnerships," Clark said. "... Our parks and recreations transform to a different role, but the city will still be active with the development of our parks, And our council is engaged with the oversight of the recreation, but it comes to us in a different fashion."

The council also held a final reading and passed a resolution to create a bicycle and pedestrian trail advisory committee.

"This is on the opposite end of what we just did," Sell said. "This is adding a committee."

As part of Monroe County's plan to create a series of interconnected trails, it was recommended the city "establish a permanent advisory committee," Sell said.

The five-person committee would serve staggered, three-year terms with at least three members being residents of the city of Monroe. According to the resolution, the committee would be tasked with “promoting and protecting the public health, safety, and general welfare by providing for the promotion of an interconnected network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in the City of Monroe.”

"It's our hopes (the committee) would interact with the other recreation entities that are tied to the loop trail and the countywide bicycle plan," Clark said. "All these are connected."

The process to staff the advisory committee is planned to begin in January.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Monroe OK's new trail committee, removes parks and rec commission