The idea of a joint parks and recreation district is inching forward.

The idea of a joint parks and recreation district is inching forward.

Johnstown resident Andy Joseph, owner of Apeks Supercritical, proposed a Johnstown Community Sports Complex to Johnstown Village Council in May.

As a member of the community, Joseph said, he proposed to donate 30 acres off state Route 37 as a catalyst to create a joint parks district.

The land offer is contingent upon the community providing funds.

Village Manager/Planner Jim Lenner said last week that a letter would be sent to townships and the local schools from the village's parks and recreation committee.

"On behalf of the Village Council park and recreation committee, I invite you to attend a meeting to discuss the idea of creating a joint park and recreation district to serve all of our residents," a draft of the letter read.

The parks and recreation committee comprises Lenner, chairman Sharon Hendren and council members Ben Lee and Carol Van Deest.

"The idea of a recreation district is not something new as it has proven very successful in New Albany and Granville," the letter read. "The idea of the district spawned from the proposed land donation by local business owner Andy Joseph although it has been on the village's radar for some time."

Such a district would function as a sovereign political body similar to the local political jurisdiction.

The district could employ staff members, issue debt and propose property millage to operate the district, according to the letter.

"As our part of the world continues to grow, the expectations of our residents will continue to build," the letter read. "The Joint Park & Recreation District is a way to ensure we provide adequate, safe and useful recreational opportunities for our residents."

The letter proposes a meeting of the Johnstown-Monroe Board of Education, Monroe Township trustees, Liberty Township trustees, Jersey Township trustees and the Johnstown council at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, in the Village Council chambers to discuss the matter further.

Joseph's proposed sports complex would feature three baseball fields and four regulation soccer fields, as well as other community areas, such as a playground, two shelter houses, sand volleyball courts and restroom facilities.

The site is off state Route 37 at what's known as the Ashbrook property.

The property currently is farmed and is in Monroe Township, bordering Liberty Township.

Joseph suggested that the joint parks district include the village, the J-M school district, Monroe Township and potentially Liberty Township and Northridge Local Schools.