The Brazil Park and Recreation Board is having budget woes. Board Treasurer John Tilley reported at last night's meeting at City Hall that the Board had requested a budget of $204,000. The City Council approved the Park Board's budget for $203,153.
However the budget has to be approved by the state. That process has not yet been completed. So Mayor Arthur has asked the Board to work, at least short term, with an anticipated budget of $150,000.
"The Mayor's wise in trying to get a handle on the budget," Tilley said. "I don't see that he has any alternative."
But that puts the Park Board in a very difficult situation. Tilley said at the start of the meeting the Board had an unencumbered balance of just $9,500.
"That's not enough money to maintain the three parks at a level that's conducive for people to enjoy them," Tilley said. "The revenue is insufficient to handle all the needs."
Board President Ruthann Jeffries said that last year, "We couldn't have made any improvements or added anything if it weren't for donations."
"The situation we're in now, we shouldn't do anything until we get to the last quarter," Tilley said.
He felt that revenue generated from concession stands and the pool may help the situation. However, it could worsen if there is a shortfall in those areas.
The Board agreed they would make expenditures on just an emergency basis until the budget is determined.
Trash at Craig Park was also a major concern to the Board members. A trash dumpster is located at the west side park. The Board was not positive but speculated that at one time the Solid Waste District and possibly even the city had used the area as a transfer station for heavy trash items.
It was also suggested that it appeared some residents are using the dumpster for their personal trash removal. With many of the discarded items not making it into the dumpster, Craig Park has become very unsightly.
City Councilwoman Pat Heffner was present at the meeting. She said she will check to determine who the dumpster belongs to and its purpose and report back to the Board members.
Other items discussed or approved by the Board were:
- The Board expressed appreciation to the Clay County Parks Association. They have generated a lot of the money used for improvements in the parks. Recently it paid to have the Forest Park Pavilion restrooms and the band shell painted.
- The Board expressed appreciation for the many contributions given to them. Numerous gifts from local citizens have allowed the Board to continue to maintain and improve the parks even in the current slow economy.
- Gave a special thanks to American Legion Post 2 for donating a new American Flag for Craig park.
- Thanked McCurdy's Decorating Center for donating the paint for the bandshell.
- Purchased a sandstone, now located between the Forest Park bridges, on which they will put a plaque honoring Thelma Wallace. She bequeathed a large amount of money to the Board to improve the park. The plaque will have inscribed on it "Thelma Wallace Memorial Pathway".
- The Board thanked Girl Scout Troop 48 for their work in restaining all of the park signs and landscaping in front of the pool.
- The Board thanked Jane Mercer for having a tree planted in the park in he husband's memory.
- Voted to have Cinergy place one directional light at the Forest Park basketball court.
- Discussed the safety aspects of the CCC pool at the SR 59 park entrance.
- Approved the purchase of a part for the pool filter for water level control at a cost of $2,300. This was considered an emergency measure as it was considered the cheapest and quickest way to correct a water leak under the deck.
- Voted to have the swimming pool remain open four extra days after school starts. The pool will be open Aug. 18 and 19 from 4-8 p.m. and Aug. 21 and 22 from noon to 5 p.m.
- Gave Brazil BP Gas Station permission to use the pavilion at Forest Park Aug. 7, based on availability, to have a fund raising benefit and pig roast for Sarah Baysinger, an employee who was seriously injured in an auto accident several weeks ago.
- Gave Ed Knox permission to continue cutting and bailing 20 acres of hay at Craig park.