Mayor Mike Ebert and village council members are looking for community members to serve on a steering committee to decide the future of parks and recreation in Canal Winchester.

Mayor Mike Ebert and village council members are looking for community members to serve on a steering committee to decide the future of parks and recreation in Canal Winchester.

Ebert said he would like to have representatives from the council as well as Canal Winchester Local School district officials and members of the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District (CWJRD) serve on the committee. He also would like village residents and residents of the school district who live outside Canal Winchester's corporation limits to participate.

Ebert said the committee will meet first in January and have one meeting a month for the following six months.

In all, he said, he'd like to see about 30 people on the committee. He envisions that five of them will be village officials and five will represent the school district.

Recent growth, both of Canal Winchester and the CWJRD, spurred council members to talk about ways of dealing with the resulting changes. Ebert said the current agreement among the village, school district and the CWJRD will expire on Feb. 16, 2011.

Councilman John Bender said the steering committee will be asked to figure out how it can work together and come up with a long-term plan for parks and recreation by the end of six months. One thing that will have to be addressed, Ebert said, is to amend the CWJRD agreement -- probably to a three- or five-year contract involving Canal Winchester, the recreation district and the schools.

"We discussed that it's time to move on and look at the larger committee," Ebert said. "We just need people who can give us some worthwhile information and have a good vision for parks and recreaction."

Ebert said he would like to enlist the help of Tony Collins, director of Gahanna's parks and recreation department, who spoke with council members in the summer about the importance of parks and recreation in a community.

"The larger the committee, the better," Councilman Victor Paini said at last week's council meeting. "We're initiating this to get all the partners together."

Anyone interested in serving on the steering committee should call Canal Winchester offices at (614) 837-7493.