Letters to the Editor

Survey says people want rec center

A year ago when the Central Madison Joint Recreation District (CMJRD) formed, the immediate goal was to work toward bringing a Recreation Center to the Deer Creek, Somerford, Choctaw Lake, and London area.

The CMJRD board has been working on fund raising, getting a business plan in order, introducing ourselves to the local organizations and community, setting up a Web page (www.cmjrd.org), working on our tax exempt status, and other tasks that all new organizations must accomplish. In this past year, we have also reinforced our commitment to a recreation center for the CMJRD area.

There are several reasons we feel that the CMJRD will be successful in its plan to build a recreation facility that will serve the residents of the district. In recent years, three local studies have been done that indicate overwhelming support for just such a facility. These studies were done in conjunction with the London and the Madison County Comprehensive Development Plans. In all three surveys, residents of the London City School District, residents of the City of London, and stakeholders in the area were asked questions about the future development of the region. The following are some of the questions and answers.

Q. If you had the power to do so, what one thing in London would you like to create?

A.The predominate answer was a “Recreation Center or YMCA.”

Q. What type of development should the City of London direct its resources towards?

A. The highest scoring answer was “Parks and Recreation Development.”

When asked as part of the Madison County Survey, London City School District residents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Madison County needs more public places for recreation,” by 66 percent. The City of London agreed to the same question for London by 70 percent.

London City School District respondents also agreed or strongly agreed that “Madison County should spend more money on recreational facilities,” by 57 percent. The City of London agreed to the same question for London by 65 percent.

There was one surprising answer to this statement in the London survey: “I would support a tax increase if I could see the benefit for the City of London;” 24 percent disagreed, 25 percent were neutral, and 51 percent agreed with the statement.

In the third qualitative survey done at the Imagine London kick-off meeting to the London Comprehensive Plan, when asked, “What three wishes do you have for the future of London?”, participants responded most by saying they wanted more “Parks or Recreation Facilities.”

Finally, at the Imagine London meeting, working groups were asked to make statements about how they saw the future of London. Two of the statements were:

• London is healthy—we have parks, paths, pools, a YMCA, and a hospital.

• London has healthy lifestyles for all age groups; with recreation opportunities, a YMCA, parks, bike trails, and the Armory.

Although these questions did not specifically address the building of a “recreation center,” all of these responses indicate that the CMJRD area does support the concept of a recreational facility that would serve the needs of all of the residents.

One question did specifically ask, “What facilities would you use in a recreation center?” The three highest scoring answers were: a swimming pool, an indoor track, and aerobic activities. Elderly residents could utilize a pool and walking track year-round for aerobic exercising and low-impact exercising. Youth could use the pool for year-round swimming and swim teams. All of us in our middle years could stay in shape to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other problems. 

There is, however, one piece of hard evidence that indicates the residents of the CMJRD are ready for a recreation center in their area. In November 2002, Madison County voted on a levy issue to bring a YMCA to London. Although this issue did not pass countywide, data available through the Board of Elections Office shows that Somerford and Deer Creek townships voted to pass the levy. Deer Creek voted 228 to 87 in favor of the YMCA. The Somerford Township vote was 785 to 322 for the YMCA. London voters also voted in favor of the levy, 1183 to 760.

The CMJRD is envisioning a Recreation Center that would serve the recreational and exercise needs of everyone in the central Madison County area. We encourage you to get involved in this endeavor. If you think we are missing some aspect of a plan that you would like included, feel free to contact me at 740-845-1321. Or, attend our meetings on the second Tuesday of every month at the Emergency Management Office, 271 Elm St.,  London, at 7 p.m.

Eric Imerman, chairman of Central
Madison Joint Recreation District

Reunite and enjoy family

 A family reunion is a yearly event to get together with families and relation. To meet, great, acquaint and visit. Also to keep in touch with many whom we may see only once a year.

Of course, one of the main attractions is a long table of home-cooked food by the ladies of the clan—food so tasty that a recipe may be asked for. Plenty of food to be enjoyed, until you have enough or too much.

Also some fun things to keep the young ones occupied while the old folks visit, and finally a yearly business meeting—a meeting to gather and record vital facts, such as marriages, births and deaths. Also to settle where the next reunion will be held.

These events all took place at our 88th gathering on Aug. 3 at the home of Tim and Dorothy Phillips Amling, 3641 State Rte. 142.

We had a grand day of fellowship. Some enjoyed the pool, especially the young and the family dog who loves to float on his rubber raft. Three group photos were taken, and all and more of the clan are invited to our 89th—same place, first Sunday of August.

Tom A. Phillips
Madison County

Band concert benefits kids

The Armory Youth Center board members and the children of London extend a huge “thank you” to the Silver Cornet Band and Director Tom Lloyd for the excellent benefit concert performed on July 14 at First Presbyterian Church.

Lloyd presented an exciting look back at bands in London in the last 100 years. Combining witty stories and awesome renditions of music from the past, Lloyd and the Silver Cornet Band entertained the enthusiastic audience with a refreshing touch of culture in our city.

Audience members were asked to give a love offering to support the Armory Youth Center, which would be matched by First Presbyterian Church up to $500. The Armory board gives our heartfelt thanks for the support and generosity of the audience, the church family, and most of all, the Silver Cornet Band. What an awesome witness of the love each of us should have for one another.

Katie Zook, president
Regina Hoosier, vice president
Marilyn Hall, secretary
Barbara Cooper, treasurer
Mark Easterday, board member
Butch Scott, board member
Gary Trentman, board member
Debra Hay-Turner, board member and
Armory program director

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