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Grant would fund Blair Rec plan

The Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission has received a $40,000 grant from the state Department of Conser­vation and Natural Re­sources for a comprehensive plan that would be created by a consultant.

In its history as CBRC and as the Altoona Recreation Commission, the organization has never done such a thing, according to commission Executive Director Mike Hofer — although it drew up an in-house plan in 2011.

The grant requires an equal match from the commission, which hopes to benefit from the “guidance” the plan would provide “to take the commission to another level,” Hofer told the board at a recent meeting.

Officials hope the plan can be completed next year, although there is no funding in the 2019 budget, which was approved at the same meeting.

It’s uncertain where the money would come from, although the “commission entities” — the city, Logan Township and the Altoona Area School District — could help, Hofer indicated.

The plan will be “a blueprint to move forward, to see if we’re moving in the right direction,” Hofer said.

It will examine programming and park development and try to determine what the community wants and how well the commission is fulfilling those wants, Hofer said.

“Are we missing anything? Are there things we can add?” he asked rhetorically. “What is positive and what is not?”

The plan will help the commission refine its mission and focus on its “core competencies,” said member Erik Cagle, a city councilman.

“It’s a great idea,” Cagle said.

It should include lots of “community engagement,” said member Marla Marcinko, the city manager.

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