Rec centers to stay open Sundays in Tarboro


Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

TARBORO — Residents looking to use the two local recreational centers on Sundays will be allowed to for the forseeable future.

The Tarboro Town Council during its monthly meeting on Monday approved a measure to keep the Braswell Center and the M.A. Ray Center open on Sundays under limited hours from 1 to 5 p.m. for at least the reminder of the upcoming 2018-19 school year. 

Tarboro Town Manager Troy Lewis said the council had approved a 90-day trial period and the town has found the use of the facilities on Sundays is more than they had anticipated.

“We typically didn’t open on Sundays because we found over the time period people didn’t show up as much,” he said. “We paid a staff member and not too many people came, so for awhile we didn’t have Sunday hours. But we had some requests from citizens and through the recreational advisory committee, we decided to take a look at it. We found through this trial period that the numbers were pretty good and somewhat surprising and a little higher than we expected to be.”

Tarboro’s Parks and Recreation Director Travis Stigge told the council that staff was fine about allowing the Braswell Center and M.A. Ray Center to stay open on Sundays. Part-time employees are being used and paid $8 an hour, Stigge said. He said the staff’s only concern is a possible drop off of people coming during the fall and winter.

Stigge also said that the requests to rent the facilities on Sundays are lower than what they were hoping for, but he is encouraged by the people coming out to use the centers, with a good group of people using the fitness center at the Braswell Center.

“We’re here to provide services to the community, and we’re willing to maintain the hours and see how it goes,” Stigge said. 

Councilman Leo Taylor talked about having the centers open to allow the youth to go and be somewhere in a controlled environment.

“It’s a good place for them to be instead of other places where they might shouldn’t,” Taylor said. 

During a public hearing, the council approved allowing owners Rosemary Eagles Toumey and Joanne Eagles Honeycutt to rezone a small tract of 1.6 acres of undeveloped land at 1501 Barlow Road to be changed from residential to a commercial zoning district. 

“It was currently zoned to single-family residential,” Lewis said. “It can be used for business, but we don’t know if they have plans for that right now.”

The council also approved all the action items. The meeting was adjourned in less than an hour.