Cheney Free Press -

By SHANNEN TALBOT
Staff Reporter 

Airway Heights council OKs recreation center jobs

Position descriptions will be posted internally first, then expanded to include outside applicants

 

September 13, 2018

Airway Heights' City Council approved job descriptions for future recreation center employees even while the center is still under construction.

The Airway Heights City Council moved swiftly through a busy action agenda at their Sept. 4 meeting, discussing eco-friendly operations possibilities and planning for the new job positions that will soon be posted by the city's recreation center, currently under construction. The council unanimously approved the lease of four new vehicles for city use to be used by employees throughout departments.

The city was looking for one full-size SUV, two midsize vehicles and one small economy car all with the same make and color to present a unified front. At this point, it's likely a city stencil will be applied to the vehicles, though council staff is still discussing the exact logo and color to use.

Staff recommended the acquisition of four automobiles – one Ford Explorer, two Ford Escapes and one Ford Taurus.

The lease will cost about $27, 956.12 for a five-year period with a $1 buyout at the end of five years. The money will come out of the city's fund balance.

Council members had several questions about hybrid vehicles and the possibility of using them in the future. City Manager Albert Tripp said in the meeting that hybrid options were not available through the state-approved vendor the city was working with and noted that there is often additional infrastructure needed to use hybrid or electric cars.

Tripp did estimate that by 2020 there will be several hybrids on the market and proposed a future discussion about how the city can be greener in its infrastructure and operations.

Also approved unanimously were new job descriptions associated with the opening of the Airway Heights recreation complex.

The jobs are required to be posted internally first, then on a variety of job boards and newspapers.

"After we've posted it within, we'll recruit far and wide," Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director J.C. Kennedy said.

According to project documents, the city will be seeking and hiring full-time staff in administration, management and operations between now and the end of the year. Part-time staff like lifeguards, front desk workers and fitness instructors will be hired between January and March of next year.

The department has not confirmed just who will be on the hiring committee at this point in time. Kennedy said.

Kennedy then shared schematics for likely expansions to the complex, which has been under construction since November 2017.

After hearing from citizens that reliable child care is a desperate need in the West Plains, project officials are exploring the possibility of adding a day care to the recreation center, Kennedy said.

The council also briefly debated the pros and cons of artificial turf, weighing its higher cost with its convenience in inclement weather. The council will likely seek community input on natural vs. artificial turf as the project progresses.

Kennedy said that the city will be asking for a $750,000 earmark from the state Legislature in the 2019 season for lights to play sports after dark, which have been repeatedly asked for by local teams and groups.

This prompted council members to discuss employing a lobbying service to get additional funding for the project. The city has never had a lobbyist before, but it is certainly a possibility at this point.

In another action item, council unanimously appointed West Plains resident Steven Titus to the Airway Heights Park Advisory Board. Titus, 25, is the youth director for The Heights Church and was interested in getting involved in the parks department to work with the community and learn about places to take his youth groups.

Before adjourning, council heard the second reading of an ordinance that set the 2018 positions and salaries of recreation center employees, added new court clerk and water –sewer treatment specialist positions, and allowed for a uniform allowance for Community Engagement Officer and code enforcer Kristina Blake.

Shannen Talbot can be reached at shannen@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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