Parks and Rec receives Benchmark recognition

At the Nov. 25 Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation Commission meeting, April Johnson, East TN Rep from the Parks and Recreation Technical Advisory Service (PARTAS) for the state, awarded the department with a plaque signifying the department’s achievement in the Tier II Level Benchmarking Program.

This program is designed as a road map to assist local communities in their effort to achieve excellence in community and economic development. The program is sub-divided into four levels called Tier Status Levels which divide organizations into categories based on certain size and operation standards. The certification is good for five years.

There are 16 objectives that need to be thoroughly met in order to achieve the status. Those objectives for Tier II include Legal Authority, Formal Organizational Structure, Established Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Recreation Services, Marketing/Public Relations, Facility Use Management, Information/Record Systems Management, Resource/Land Use Management, Personnel Selection, Human Resources, Fiscal Policy, Budgeting, Risk Management, Safety and Security, and Evaluation/Research.

The Benchmarking Program is also integrated into the Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) and the Land Water and Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant application process. Therefore, organizations that are benchmarked have a higher percentage of receiving grants through these funds.

The Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation Commission is the only three-government entity of its kind in the state. Parks and Rec officials said achieving this level of excellence is significant for the department, as well as the community.

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