Smfd. Parks Dept. growing

Published 7:39 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2020

By Diana McFarland


Along with the completion of the Windsor Castle Manor House restoration, another full-time employee has been added to Smithfield’s growing Parks and Recreation Department. 

In all, the department has expanded to include nine full-time and two part-time positions, including the director job, for a total cost in salaries and benefits of $494,519, according to Smithfield Parks and Recreation Director Amy Novak. 

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The newly hired Windsor Castle site manager will book special events at the manor house and the park, as well as act as a docent for the entire facility, said Smithfield Parks and Recreation Director Amy Novak. 

The docent duties have long been needed, and park visitors have been stopping by the Smithfield VA Events office since it moved there with all sorts of questions, said Novak.

Smithfield VA Events is headquartered in the former caretaker’s house, across the street from the manor house. Smithfield VA Events is responsible for putting on three festivals at the park each year. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The salary for the site manager position is $34,000 and was filled in January, said Novak, adding that the site manager’s office is located in the manor house. 

In addition, the Parks and Recreation Department includes a parks maintenance supervisor, hired in 2017, along with three outdoor parks specialists, hired last year. 

The park maintenance staffers take care of the Joseph W. Luter Jr. sports complex and Windsor Castle Park. 

Starting in July, they will also take over landscaping at The Smithfield Center and Windsor Castle Park, as well as cutting the grass at the latter, said Novak.

Since this work is currently performed by contractors, this will save the town more than $40,000 a year, said Novak, adding that Clontz Park and the boat ramp also fall under Parks and Recreation.  

Two of the five employees at The Smithfield Center are part-time, said Novak. 

By comparison, the Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation Department employs 21 full-time employees, of which 13 are in maintenance and landscaping, said Isle of Wight County Director of Parks and Recreation David Smith.

In addition to the county’s seven park facilities, the Isle of Wight Parks and Recreation Department also staffs the Windsor Town Center, mows and landscapes all county properties and will take over maintenance of the Park-to-Park trail when that is completed, said Smith, adding that his staff is also responsible for snow removal. 

Isle of Wight Parks and Recreation also employs four permanent part-time employees and another 23 seasonal part-timers who staff the county’s summer camp program, he said. 

The total fiscal 2020 budget for Isle of Wight’s 21 full-time parks and recreation employee salaries and benefits was $1.24 million. Part-time positions were budgeted at $111,482.