HURRICANE — Some good news for Hurricane residents with special needs was shared Thursday during a public meeting.
Leisure and Recreation Director Kole Staheli told the City Council that the city’s recreation department now offers more adaptive classes and programs than ever.
“We’re trying to involve more of our disabled community, and wow, we’ve really had some success,” he said.
A glimpse at the Hurricane website shows youth sports programs include adaptive soccer and adaptive basketball programs. The city also has an adaptive swim team to accommodate kids with physical or developmental disabilities or who have behavioral issues.
Staheli offered kudos to Hurricane’s new recreation director Jennifer Cluff, whom he called “the driving force behind the special needs enhancement.” He said making recreation in the city more accessible is a move that’s near and dear to his heart, considering his wife is coordinator of the Washington County School District’s special education programs at the secondary school level.
In related news, Councilmember Darin Larson shared that Hurricane Valley Rotary is looking at a proposal to create an all-abilities park in Hurricane.
Larson, who is also a Rotarian, said members of the service club have already met with Hurricane City Parks Superintendent Darren Barney. The project will likely involve retrofitting an existing park, an approach that’s more economically feasible than starting from scratch.
Larson emphasized that the all-abilities park is just in its initial planning phase but said it’s projected to have a $200,000 price tag. Rotary intends to partner with the city for the project, and they hope some money will be provided by Regional Asset District funds, he added.
These funds are raised via a small sales tax levied on county residents. The resulting funds are divided among cities in the district to offset the creation and upkeep of spaces that are open to the community for sports and recreational activities.
Residents and visitors to Hurricane will benefit greatly from the all-abilities park, Larson said.
“As the city grows, so do its needs.”
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