As the community begins to regain some normalcy after more than a year with COVID-19 restrictions, the City of Colusa is kicking off the summer with a re-energized recreation program.
The City Council last month authorized a General Fund expenditure of $25,000 to add more recreational activities, including afternoon summer camps for kids and dance classes for adults.
City Manager Jesse Cain said plans for the 2021 summer, which include utilizing new facilities and partnerships, is just a start.
“This is going to be the beginning of the new rec program,” Cain said. “It could explode and it could get a lot bigger.”
More than 125 people answered a recent survey regarding recreational programs they would like to see for adults.
Among the most requested programs were Zumba, partner dancing, and arts and crafts, along with league programs like softball, basketball, and soccer, said Economic Development and Tourism Director Kristy Levings.
Levings said people asked for more themed summer camps for kids, including geocaching, river, farm, dinosaur, mystery, and theater camps.
Colusa once had a robust recreational program, and Colusa officials said the $25,000 would help jump start activities this summer, including concerts in the park to run June 17 to Aug. 14.
The most heavily used facilities for this summer program will be the scout cabin, community pool, and the city’s parks. The city has a “Kidapalooza” event planned for June 5-6 to mark the entrance to the summer season.
The city also hopes to partner with the bowling alley and a local gym for additional activities.
As the goal is to offer more fee-based programs that will be open to all Colusa County residents and not just Colusa residents, officials hope the revamped recreation department will be financially sustainable.
“We used to have a full time recreation director and a part time recreation director,” Cain said. “Now, we just don’t know. We have to see how much public participation we get.”
Meanwhile, he, Levings and the finance director will manage the program for now and see if city-sponsored recreation programs become popular again. Cain said the city didn’t need to make money on its recreation program, but that it would need to pay for itself within a year or so.
City Councilman Daniel Vaca said the $25,000 is just a jumpstart to providing more recreational opportunities, including summer league programs.
“What I’m hearing that I like is that we are trying to get something going,” Vaca said. “We gotta get this going. This will be great for parents and kids to do other things, and have our own rec leagues so people don’t have to drive to Yuba City and for people to stay here.”
Councilwoman Denise Conrado agreed.
“I think this is a necessity, particularly this year when kids have been home so much and not interacting with other kids,” she said. “They need to get out and do other activities.” §