Jason Boris, the executive director of the Eastern Schuylkill Recreation Commission, presented Tamaqua Borough Council with an annual update of what the organization has accomplished in the last year and what its plans are for the upcoming year.
"We had two big projects that finished off in 2013," said Boris," The Dutch Hill Playground in Tamaqua and the Middleport playground in Middleport." He added that the Dutch Hill project had been fast tracked and that the parties involved with the playground were all happy with the project, including the Tamaqua Baseball Association. The Middleport project was funded through grants that totaled about $70,000. "Middleport is our newest member. They were thrilled to join the ESRC and this was a very big thing for their community," he said, "$70,000 goes a long way." Boris said there will be press events and "grand opening" type events for each of the projects in the near future.
Boris said that he is currently planning the Coal Cracker Classic bike race, to be held on October 19th, at the Bungalow. Additionally, the ESRC will hold their annual breakfast with Santa during the Tamaqua Spirit of Christmas Festival and winter basketball leagues for both children and adults.
Boris said that he had been approached by various members of council who had different ideas for what projects should be pursued next, including adding facilities at the Rabbit Run complex, a pavilion in Owl Creek, or extending the River Walk project. "Those are all things to consider," said Boris, but he added that the ESRC does have "many mouths to feed," including seven municipalities and the Tamaqua school district. All of the members of the ESRC contribute an annual amount of money, based on their population, to the pot, and that is what pays for Boris' salary and helps facilitate the grant writing and other activities that the ESRC carries out.
Since its inception, the ESRC has helped the borough of Tamaqua receive funding totaling $552,500. The total amount of funding received by all of the municipalities and the school district between 1998 and 2012 is $1,599,010.