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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:53 pmFeb 12, 20140

Consultant hired to help Rec and Parks figure out its future

Board of Estimates approves contract with Colorado company

Above: Rec and Parks headquarters building at Druid Hill Park.

The Board of Estimates today approved, over the objections of City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, a contract with a Colorado consultant to develop a vision plan for the Recreation and Parks Department.

In return for $53,215 in fees, Denver-based GreenPlay LLC will work with the department “to develop a new strategy for the future,” Gennady Schwartz, chief of capital development, told the spending board.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that having a strategic plan and consultant were among the recommendations of a 2011 report by a mayoral task force that proposed ways to consolidate, modernize, privatize and/or close youth rec centers in the city. Schwartz said the department has struggled for years “with buildings underutilized because they were not designed for quality services.”

GreenPlay will help the agency identify gaps in service, deficiencies in recreational facilities and pinpoint services “we should not be doing.” Schwartz called the group nationally recognized experts in strategic planning for parks and recreation agencies.

The contract, discussed in detail here, was approved by the mayor, Comptroller Joan M. Pratt, City Solicitor George Nilson and Public Works Director Rudolph Chow.

Young voted “no” because he objected to the lack of participation in the contract by an African-American firm.

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