GREENVILLE — The Greenville City Council excitedly endorsed a Greenville triathlon — an event council members are sure will draw people into the city.
During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the council received a presentation from Doug Hinken, a triathlon committee member, regarding a plan the committee came up with to have the triathlon in Greenville on June 1.
“This makes a really great concept,” said Councilman Lloyd Scoby.
A triathlon is an event usually consisting of swimming, biking and running at different distances and could include adult and youth events, according to Hinken.
Greenville’s triathlon is planned to have contestants swim out to buoys and back, run a 5K and bike 13.5 miles. It is not set in stone, however, Hinken said.
“It might seem daunting to someone who hasn’t done it, but it’s not bad for (an entry level race),” Hinken said.
The youth event would be a shorter race.
Hinken, who started getting interested in triathlons about three years ago, said while he was enjoying the trails in Greenville, he thought about how the city has all of the assets to put on a triathlon event.
“This is just a concept,” Hinken said. “If (the council) approves, we will move forward in spreading the word.”
He said because the residents of Baldwin Lake will be affected by the event, the committee will be discussing plans with them in the future. He said the beach at Baldwin Lake would be a unique place for spectators to watch because of the elevated viewing area.
“We have a really unique opportunity for that,” he said of the area.
If the youth and adult events were to run at different times, Hinken believes there would be enough room in this area for about 800 people. However, he does not believe there will be that many people for the first event in Greenville.
Scoby asked if this many people were to come to the city, where would there be enough parking?
“Parking is an issue,” Hinken said, noting the committee is still working out a plan with some ideas they have come up with.
City Manager George Bosanic said the event will cost about $7,000 and the city did budget some funds in anticipation of the event. Hinken and Bosanic agreed, hoping the event will at least break even the first year and raise money in years to come as a fundraiser for the Greenville Area Community Center and the Greenville Recreation Department.
“This is a great opportunity,” Bosanic said. “If done right and timed right, it would be a tremendous event for our community along with fundraising (for the departments).”
Councilman Brian Greene said he thought the idea of a triathlon was a great idea and well-thought-out plan.
“I am very supportive of it,” Greene said. “It’s a very solid, solid plan as is.”
Mayor John Hoppough said now that the city council has given an endorsement, the next step would be to receive a recommendation on a final event plan once the committee has developed it.
“It’s great getting residents involved in a way to make people want to come to Greenville,” Hoppough said.
In other business, the council approved …
• An Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption application from Huntington Foam.
• Establishing no-parking-at-any-time signs on West Oak Street from Luray Street to Bower Street.
• To close portions of city streets in connection with the annual Hometown Christmas Parade.
• To adopt the 2012 Greenville Master Plan.