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Milton adopts outdoor recreation plan to guide park improvements | Local News

Milton now has a five-year vision for its city parks.

The 70-page Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational Plan, adopted by the city council Oct. 20, lays out the recreational facilities the city has and improvements it hopes to make along with their estimated timelines and costs. 

In a memo to the council, Administrative Services Director Inga Cushman said the plan enables the city to apply for state and federal grants.

City Administrator Al Hulick said the plan is the culmination of months of work by Cushman and the city Parks and Recreation Commission.

The document is designed to offer a “clear picture of where we want to go and where we aspire to be,” Hulick said at the Oct. 20 meeting. “If you look at the Crossridge Park plan, that plan’s been around for a number of years, and we have slowly kind of ticked off some of those things … but some of those things, boy, we sure would love to have them, but we might never get there.”

Still, “it’s good to have a place to look into the future,” he said.

Mayor Anissa Welch said she appreciates having structure.

“This will help guide future councils,” she said. “When we are all not here, there will be a living document to guide decision-making, and I think that’s something that we as a council have not had.”

According to standards developed by the National Recreation and Park Association, Milton has more than enough parkland—more than 117 acres—to meet recreational space standards for its estimated population through 2040.

Even as population estimates rise in Milton—from 6,138 residents in 2020 to an estimated 7,517 in 2040—available parkland remains at a surplus.

Milton currently has 16 developed parks and the Story Gardens, which are under development at the city’s public library. Schilberg Park, the largest park, is owned and operated by the Milton School District.

Here is an inventory of city parks and proposed improvements:

  • Central Park, 201 Hilltop Drive, 10.5 acres. Features include a softball diamond, tennis courts, bleachers, warming house, play structure and an ice rink in winter. Recommended improvements include paint, blacktop repair and the addition of wheelchair seating around the bleachers.
  • College Green, Columbus Street, a 1-acre underdeveloped park formerly part of the Milton College campus. Recommended improvements include more benches and picnic tables, repairs to a rock wall and stairs on Columbus Street, outdoor artwork, signs, and a gazebo or other shade structure.
  • Crossridge Park, 1122 Parkview Drive, 43 acres. Park and nature conservation area has a prairie, walking trails, two playgrounds and an open area used by Milton Youth Football. Recommended improvements include a pavilion with restrooms, shade trees, blacktop or gravel on the north parking lot, a drinking fountain and more playground equipment.
  • FFA Park, South John Paul Road, a 1.5-acre underdeveloped park used for youth football practice. Recommended improvements include more picnic tables and entrance improvements.
  • King Park, 2214 Hilltop, 8 acres. Amenities include a disc golf course and bleachers. Recommended improvements include updated signs, picnic
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Internova Travel Group Adopts Health Security Verification Platform

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In its continued global initiative to ensure consumers can travel with confidence and stay in a safe environment, Internova Travel Group has selected digital health company Sharecare and Forbes Travel Guide as health security verification partners to validate the procedures and protocols at more than 50,000 hotels booked through its systems.  The dynamic solution will help the travel industry align on a common approach, consistent protocols, and an established system of health security, say company executives.

Sharecare Health Security verification with Forbes Travel Guide gives Internova Travel Group's travel clients an added layer of confidence that the hotels where they stay are committed to health security at a time when they absolutely need it.

“Our goal is to ensure our travelers can book with confidence,” said Internova Travel Group CEO J.D. O’Hara.

“This verification process will allow us to evaluate the quality of the vast myriad of health policies and solutions that exist at hotels throughout the world, as well as highlight those who meet best-in-class standards,” said J.D. O’Hara, CEO of Internova Travel Group, one of the largest travel services companies in the world. “The services provided by Sharecare will be an important way to dynamically amplify the existing health safety protocols in place at hotels, as well as give travelers a recognizable certification that assures them that a hotel or resort is health security verified.”

“The pandemic has made it clear that in order for the hospitality industry to scale for our new normal, hotels and resorts must, first and foremost, assure employees and guests of their safety,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, the global authority on genuine Five-Star service. “Sharecare Health Security verification with Forbes Travel Guide gives guests, travel planners, and hotel staff an added layer of confidence that the places away from home where they choose to work, play, and stay are committed to health security at a time when they absolutely need it.”

Developed in response to the catastrophic impact COVID-19 has had on the hospitality industry, Sharecare’s health security solution enables hotels to amplify existing safety protocols and comply with expert-validated best practices to minimize the risk and impact of acute public health events. This partnership is one of several initiatives Internova Travel Group has undertaken to promote safer travel. Last month, O’Hara and Internova executives piloted a digital health pass called CommonPass aimed at replacing quarantine with COVID-19 testing. The company’s Travel Leaders Group division launched a program called “Book with Confidence,” which provides participating travel advisors with a library of health and safety related resources to assist travelers.

“Our goal is to ensure our travelers can book with confidence, fly with confidence and stay with confidence,” said O’Hara. “The more consistent information our advisors can provide to travelers, the more prepared and comfortable they will be in restarting their travels.”

The health security solution from Atlanta-based industry-leader Sharecare, is a complement to its flagship data-driven, virtual health platform that includes a comprehensive COVID-19 readiness solution, [email protected]

“We are committed to empowering the hospitality industry to address the evolving emotional, educational, clinical, and operational challenges introduced by the pandemic by creating a culture of accountability that

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Frisco adopts new visioning plans for Peninsula Recreation Area

FRISCO — Frisco Town Council members signed off on the new Comprehensive Vision & Project Implementation Plan for the Frisco Adventure Park at the Peninsula Recreation Area.

The final plan represents more than a year of development through public meetings, stakeholder interviews, advisory committee hearings and more, and will serve as a guiding document for officials to gradually improve one of the town’s most prized amenities over the coming years.

“This was a really monumental effort,” said council member Melissa Sherburne. “We set out two, maybe three years ago at this point to have a collective vision for this area, and to be moving forward with purpose and strategy so that future councils really understand what the community vision for this area is.”

The plan was put together in partnership between Frisco, Lose Design and Sports Facilities Advisory. In total, the vision would cost about $30 million to implement in its entirety, but officials are planning on making the upgrades over time based on financial considerations, community feedback and necessity.

Image from town of Frisco

The plan’s goals are broken down into three categories: revenue generating opportunities, operational efficiencies and value-added enhancements. The idea is that officials will be able to add amenities and improvements piece by piece in a way that’s sustainable, with increased revenue coming in to help fund projects.

“We really thoughtfully went through all these elements to find out what should be tackled first, and what our biggest issues are,” said Diane McBride, Frisco’s director of recreation. “We’ve got issues with crowding, storage and concerns about navigating the location. So we’ve taken those items we’ve heard from the town, staff and the community and made those high priority. …

“But we realize there are opportunities to generate revenue. In terms of how you invest in this and make changes, when you add on you have to decide what that means for generating potential revenue from that site for saving and building future amenities as well.”

What has been budgeted so far is $210,000 for the design and development of a wedding overlook and a new Village Center, a part of the Recreation Village that will serve as a centerpiece of the area’s eventual redesign.

The Recreation Village is meant to serve as the park’s new base camp, encompassing a new Village Center that would house all administrative functions, concessions, classrooms and more. The village would also include a new activity center, ice rink, art installations and renovations to the day lodge and Nordic center.

Image from town of Frisco

The plan also includes a new wayfinding system which will incorporate better lighting and signage for pedestrians and vehicles. It’ll serve as a means to both define the character of the park and help visitors find their way around. There are also ideas for improving transportation issues on a broader scale, like adding the Adventure Park along the Summit Stage bus route, increasing parking capacity and creating a bypass for recpath users.

“It’s all organized in a

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St. Augustine City Commission adopts vacation rental fees

Sheldon Gardner
| St. Augustine Record

St. Augustine commissioners recently adopted fees for vacation rentals, and the city will send letters to property owners about how to register vacation rentals. 

The fee is a base rate of $294.48 per rental unit plus a fee of $73.81 per bedroom rented. The operator will have to pay a fee each year based on that rate structure to renew the vacation rental’s registration. 

There is a $100 fee for people who are late renewing their annual vacation rental registration. If a rental has to be re-inspected for code compliance or fire safety because of a failed inspection, the re-inspection rate is $50. A successful inspection is required to be registered with the city. 

The city plans to make the online registration system available this week, said David Birchim, city Planning and Building Department director. The city will send out letters to property owners with instructions on how to register. 

The city has about 600 vacation rentals, according to a memo from Birchim to the Commission. The city based its fees on the number of rentals and the cost to administer its new vacation rental regulations. The city plans to re-evaluate the fees annually. 

The city adopted vacation rental regulations in January. The regulations include requirements for registration, inspection, parking, response times for complaints, occupancy limits and safety equipment, among other things. 

The city had proposed a flat fee of $500 per year per vacation rental, but commissioners decided to go with a tiered approach.

Commissioner Roxanne Horvath supported giving vacation rental owners a temporary break on the new fees because of COVID-19 hardships. Mayor Tracy Upchurch had already supported giving residents more time before implementing the new vacation rental system because of COVID-19. But he didn’t get backing from the Commission.

Ultimately the Commission voted unanimously to implement the fees.

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