COAL TOWNSHIP - The Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) Authority members will be petitioning the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for funding to hire a park operations manager.

During the first regular meeting in the new trailhead welcome center on the AOAA property Monday night, the members voted to apply for a circuit grant and advertise for the petition contingent upon securing the funding.

If awarded the grant, the position will be fully funded in the first year and then funded 75 percent in the second year, 50 percent in the third and 25 percent in the fourth, said authority Chairman Jim Backes.

The authority would have to pick up the health care and pension benefits though, he added.

The salary and benefits will be determined once the grant is awarded, Backes said.

According to the position description, the operations manager "will take the lead role in management of the daily operations of the facility, events, maintenance, security and marketing of the AOAA."

Tasks would include hiring and training staff members, coordinating events, developing new trails, marketing the facility and maintaining the property, among other listed responsibilities.

They plan to advertise via newspapers, the AOAA website and CareerLink.

"The broader we advertise, the better the candidates," said Backes.

The tentative grand opening date this year is May 17.


The authority also adopted its 2014 goals.

For operations and management, the authority members want to open the facility to riders on weekends first and then add days when possible, hire the manager and part-time employees as income allows, encourage volunteerism, hold two full-size vehicle events and one community event, hold ATV youth training courses, develop an advanced hunting policy and develop an advanced committee process with more communication.

For property and asset management, the authority members want to have maps of trails on facility; mark intersections, property boundaries, dangerous areas and private property; acquire easements across properties to connect the east and west properties and work with adjoining land owners to either block existing trails or allow us to use trails and provide them with liability insurance; tie dead end trails together; hire a security firm to maintain rules and stop illegal users; stop or limit illegal dumping and clean up existing dump sites; apply for more grants, and complete the enclosed planting areas on the current site.

For financial management, the authority members want to be financially stable, set up Quickbooks to enable authority to manage financial operations efficiently, purchase insurance, generate enough income to pay all expenses, secure funding for working capital have fundraisers and events to generate revenue and create a process for advertisers.

In other business, the authority approved a motion to host the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon Feb. 18.