Recreational facilities make a significant impact on the Dothan community, ranging from improving residents’ quality of life to providing an economic boost through tourism.

Some facilities bear monikers of geographical locations, but others carry the names of people – like Rip Hewes Stadium or Solomon Park. Since recreation plays a major role in Dothan culture, one may wonder how the city decides to name some of Dothan Leisure Services’ facilities after people.

Within the last year, the Dothan Recreation Board established a policy to formalize the process of naming buildings, roads, parks or other facilities after people or groups. Dothan Leisure Services Director Elston Jones said the department fields many requests, but officials cannot grant them all.

People can submit naming proposals in writing to the Dothan Recreation Board or by appearing in front of the board during one of its meetings. Naming suggestions can also come from the DLS director or a board member.

The board uses several criteria in judging the worthiness of an application before voting on any proposal. Some of the criteria include:

>> Events will be considered if it had or continues to have a “meaningful” impact on Dothan residents.

>> Deceased persons will be considered if they are at least 20 years old, have demonstrated good character, were not felons and have contributed to DLS “in some greater than average manner” for 10 years or longer. Those who made significant historical contributions to the city, county, state or nation will also be considered.

>> Living persons must match the criteria outlined in the deceased section and must have been “exceptionally outstanding” in their contributions to DLS. Additionally the nominated person must provide a written statement supporting the proposal.

>> Donors or donor groups must have provided a large and significant donation of land, property or money or a donation that represented “considerable sacrifice.”

>> Places, or geographical names, will be considered if the name is widely associated with the area in which the DLS facility is located.

The policy provides walls or trees where memory plaques can honor those who passed away at the ages of 19 or younger. Additionally organizations are not considered unless they “fully” meet the outlined guidelines.

If the recreation board approves a name proposal, it will be forwarded to the Dothan City Commission for final approval.

The policy has been used in the past two months as the Dothan City Commission voted in March to name the roadway entering the Eastgate Park ball fields after Benny Sims and the roadway entering the Westgate Softball Complex after Johnny Middlebrooks. Sims served as a longtime coach and umpire for the Dothan Southern League at Eastgate, while Middlebrooks served on the Dothan Recreation Board for almost 40 years.

Expansion plans: Dothan’s hottest restaurant could have some expansion plans approved Thursday at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting.

Those associated with KBC, the restaurant of the most recent “Top Chef” winner Kelsey Barnard Clark, have submitted plans to create a covered porch area in a green space next to the restaurant’s current courtyard. The area will be used for more seating for the restaurant.

The porch will cover approximately 15 feet of the 30 feet of the green area and extend the length of the restaurant. The porch will be created with steel that is painted black and include iron fence panels, according to the proposal.

Since the restaurant is in an historic district, the changes must gain HPC approval. The proposals meet U.S. Secretary of the Interior design standards.

The HPC meets at 4 p.m. at the Dothan Civic Center.

Meeting schedule: In addition to the HPC meeting, the Dothan City Commission will meet Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Dothan Civic Center. The Houston County Commission will also conduct its administrative meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday on the third floor of the Houston County Administrative Building.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Follow Jeremy Wise on Twitter @DEgovbeat

Load comments