Rockland city councilors voiced support for a proposed outdoor adventure center but said they needed more information on how it would operate after completion before they give it their formal backing.

Representatives of Rockland Outdoor Adventure Park met for two hours Monday evening, May 2 with city councilors to detail the project that would be located on 16 acres of city-owned Jaycee Park and Kenniston Field at 435 Old County Road.

The group seeks the council’s formal concept approval so that it can begin raising $4 million to construct the complex by the end of 2013. The center would include a BMX racing track; trails for walkers, bicyclists or people with strollers; a building with an indoor skating park and climbing wall; as well as a multi-purpose field that could be used for Little League and youth soccer activities.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Mayor Brian Harden who noted he was the member of the Jaycess who nearly 35 years ago turned over the deed of the property to Rockland. The Jaycees were a group of young business people who put together land parcels and then donated it to the city with the stipulation that it be used for recreational purposes.

“Your vision is close to their vision,” Harden told the Rockland Outdoor Adventure Park representatives.

At that time, the group had wanted the property used for cross-country skiing, an outdoor skating rink as well as ballfields.

The property had also been eyed nearly a decade ago by the recreation department for the site of a new recreation center. In response to a question from Councilor Eric Hebert, Recreation Director Rene Dorr said he was in support of the Rockland Outdoor Adventure Park group’s plan that has been in the works for more than a year.

Dorr noted that this would add something that other recreation programs in the state do not have. The city would continue to maintain the existing recreation building, he said.

The group’s proposal calls for the complex to be turned over to the city once it is completed and that the city would manage the facilities and pay for it through program and rental fees. No taxpayer money would be used to build the complex, the supporters noted.

Councilor Hebert praised the group for its plan but said his concern was about the operations after it is built. He questioned whether the group — ROAP — could instead enter into an agreement with the city to manage the complex rather than the city’s recreation department.

“I may withhold support until I know more about the financial data,” Hebert said. He specifically wanted estimates on the number of staff needed to run the facility.

The ROAP representatives said they would return next month with more information but said that it needed the concept approval to begin raising money. They told city officials that once approval was received, activity would ramp up quickly to raise the money.

The board of directors for Rockland Outdoor Adventure Park includes Chris Christie, the owner of Bikesenjava and Snowenjava; local chiropractor Dr. Blaine Curtis; Sarah Chadwick Rogers who is co-owner of the art studio for children called Splatter Kids; Amie Hutchison from Broadreach Family and Community Services; veteran banker Eric Belley; John Anders; Josh Gamage; and Pat O’Brien.

Christie and Belley made the presentation at the May 2 meeting.

The mayor noted that the proposal for the group to raise the money and construct the facility on public property is similar to what was done with the expansion and modernization of the Rockland Public Library.