Ionia moves Parks & Recreation position to full-time after analysis

IONIA – The City of Ionia is creating a full-time position in the Parks and Recreation Department – hoping to maintain sustainability with programming.

Ionia City Council voted unanimously at its September 6 meeting to increase the position of Recreation Programs Coordinator to the department from part-time to full-time. Parks and Recreation will be benchmarked for the next three years to track corresponding changes in recreation program revenues.

Ionia Town Manager Precia Garland said a detailed analysis by the Department of Parks and Recreation had been carried out. The city reviewed the staffing of its parks and recreation department against national benchmarks.

Garland concluded that Ionia’s parks and recreation department was significantly understaffed and “really operating in a fragile and unsustainable staffing model,” she said.

The National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA) reported that a typical agency has 8.3 full-time equivalents (FTEs) for every 10,000 residents living in the area it serves. Based on Ionia’s population, the parks and recreation department is expected to have 5.5 FTEs, Garland noted. The Parks and Recreation Department currently has 2.1 FTEs — and 2.7 FTEs if you include Department of Public Works staff who help maintain city parks.

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