Shane Jarrard was at the North Hall Community Center on Wednesday as his daughters, 11-year-old Lexi and Braely, 8, went through a few basketball drills.
Jarrard said he just recently found out that the popular facility won’t be available Sundays starting next month. The cutback at all three of Hall County’s community centers is part of a countywide effort to trim $1 million from Hall’s total budget of $96.95 million.
“We hate to see it happen,” Jarrard said. “We come here regularly on Sundays after church.”
County officials asked all of its departments to cut their budgets in the general fund, which is expected to total approximately $1 million, according to Katie Crumley, a county spokesperson. She said the closing on Sundays beginning March 5 by the community centers is part of a larger effort by the Parks & Leisure Department to reduce $149,000 from its budget.
The other two facilities to be closing Sundays are East Hall Community Center and Mulberry Creek Community Center.
Ally Miles, 14, a North Hall High School student, sat and watched as her brothers participated in a basketball pickup game at the North Hall Community Center gymnasium. Miles said she and her four brothers, along with a sister, come out regularly on Sundays. She said the family will have to find another place to play.
“We’ll probably go out to Clermont Park to play,” Miles said.
The mid-year budget amendment by county officials was voted on Jan. 12. County Financial Services Director Zach Propes said the action taken had as its goal “to better position us as we enter into the second half of the fiscal year.”
The community centers will continue to operate weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. according to officials, Sunday is the day of the week that the centers are least used. They would open Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.