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Jul 13, 2013 4:37 PM by katc

Alexandria kicks off summer recreation program

Alexandria is moving ahead with a trial run of a summer recreation program.

The City Council approved taking $100,000 in youth crime prevention funds to pay for the recreation program and authorized Mayor Jacques Roy to enter into vending and personal services agreements connected with the project.

The Town Talk reported the program will run for two years. After the initial two years, city officials hope to expand the program with funding possibly coming from a property tax.

Programming will focus on baseball, golf, swimming and tennis. It will focus heavily on golf and tennis this year. Baseball already has a solid base through existing youth leagues, Roy said. Swimming requires more work to get going and will likely be a bigger component next year, he said.

The two-year trial will be paid for using pretrial intervention funds.

When a minor is arrested, he or she can in some cases avoid the court process by entering the intervention program. Typically, this involves a first-time offender for minor crimes.

The offender pays a fee as part of that process. The city recently received an attorney general's opinion that recreation programming targeting at-risk young people falls under youth crime prevention and can be paid for with the intervention funds.

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