Council Hears Estimated Budget For Proposed Rec. Center/Colonial Park

July 15, 2008

Should voters approve the $13.8 million proposal for the West U. Recreation Center and Colonial Park, West U. Parks and Recreation Director Tim O’Connor estimates the operating budget for the two facilities to increase by $216,321. The bulk of the increase is due to the request for four new full-time positions at a cost of $186,000 for salaries and benefits.

The current operating budget is $1,333,706 – the proposed operating budget, dependent on the parks redevelopment projects, is $1,550,027. O’Connor also anticipates a new fee schedule with increased participation, which he anticipates should cover the cost increase if not more. The city currently recovers 41 percent of the parks operating budget through fees.

Parks and Recreation staff have also prepared a Fifty-Year Capital Maintenance Plan, in an effort to avoid the city facing dilapidated facilities in the future due to poor maintenance. The maintenance plan is not included in the general operating budget.

“(There is) justified criticism in how we got to this point with the facilities so far,” said O’Connor. “Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. If we need to re-plaster a pool every five years, let’s do that. Let’s budget that.”

“We are paying for past sins because of low-balling things in the past,” said Parks Planning Sub-committee Chairman Russ Schulze told council at last night’s meeting.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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