SEMINOLE — City Manager Ann Toney-Deal says discussions are underway among members of the area’s state legislative delegation to draft a bill to disband the Greater Seminole Area Special Recreation District and have its acreage revert to county ownership. The Seminole Youth Athletic Association operates the district.
The quasi-governmental entity was created by the state Legislature in 1980, but the district has struggled financially in recent years. As a result, there’s been some talk of a possible county takeover of the facilities, which include soccer and baseball fields currently in considerable disrepair.
Previously, there were some failed attempts over the years to pass referendums renewing the district's ability to assess taxes. That’s what had served as its funding base initially, but its taxing authority lasted only three years.
After some discussion of the planned legislation at a Jan. 10 meeting of the City Council, members voted to have the city manager investigate whether the city could take possession of the SYAA acreage rather than the county. It suggested another option would be for the county to take possession of the land after the association and district are disbanded, with the city formally attached as the “programmer” of its recreational activities.
The SYAA acreage sits just west of the Seminole city limits, near the Richard O. Jacobson Technical High School.
The city this year bumped the SYAA from its list of area nonprofits to which it provides small annual grants, after staff reported having to place repeated phone calls asking for someone from the organization to pick up its $1,000 check.