The town council approved plans Monday to create an advisory committee for the local park board.

The decision came at the request of the board's president Carla Hart and council member Carol Hill.

According to Hart, the Holly Pond Park Board normally functions with approximately seven members. But due to lack of interest, its membership is down to two.

"We don't even have enough to make a quorum," Hart said.

The president said that she hoped an advisory board will allow membership from interested parties outside the city limits, but still in the Holly Pond community.

According to state law, no member of the park board can live outside the city limits, since the board spends city tax dollars.

According to Mayor Paul Barnett, members of the advisory committee will be composed of no more than 10 people, who will be entitled to vote and make recommendations concerning the parks.

All decision making powers will continue to reside with the park board and ultimately the council though, he said.

Tasks charged to the park board concern the day-to-day running of the baseball and softball fields, including player registration and insurance, concessions, player and liability insurance and scheduling practices and games.

"Our busy part of the year is really just getting under way, and we just can't even function the way it is," Hart told the board.

In addition to the committee, Hill asked the other board members to release more than $10,000 of surplus funds from the park board's budget.

She said the board could use that money to hire employees to run concessions, and help lighten the load for the board members.

"If people don't want to volunteer, then we'll have to pay them," she said. "They will work for money."

That movement was squashed by the mayor, who said that the board was expected to remain self sufficient.

According to Barnett, the board has a surplus because the money that was once budgeted for the town's now-closed swimming pool is no longer needed, but that does not mean that they should just spend it.

"The board used to operate in a deficit all the time," he said. "Since we closed the pool though, we would like it to remain a little more self sufficient."

The board currently receives much of its funds from player registrations and concessions, which is not enough according to Hart and Hill.

Hill said registration is set to take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 at . During that time, she said they will be expected to register more than 200 kids.

She made a call for volunteers, instructing any interested persons to call her at 796-2015.

All volunteers must live near the Holly Pond community.

Storm shelter

Other items discussed during the meeting included plans for a Holly Pond storm shelter.

According to Barnett, the town has sent letters of intention, requesting approximately $222,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If approved, that money will be used to construct a shelter that could double as a community center.

The council discussed two possible designs during the meeting.

Barnett said the shelter could be built as an addition to the town hall. Under that plan, he said it would cover approximately 3,700 square feet, enough for about 74 occupants.

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