On the Rise
* Park Board votes in favor of raising recreation rates
The Brazil Parks and Recreation Board voted unanimously in favor of raising park recreation rates to make up for a weak 2012 budget after a discussion Tuesday evening.
"We don't have a choice," Park Board President Ruthann Jeffries told those in attendance. "We were told if we need to increase our budget, we have to increase our revenue."
During the meeting, Jeffries presented each board member with a list of proposed revenue changes, which compared current recreational pricing to possible prices previously suggested.
Pricing increases include:
* Individual daily pool admission increased $0.25, while a senior pool pass doubled from $1 to $2,
* Season pool passes for an entire family rose $30, from $120 to $150, for up to four family members and each additional person at $15,
* Board members approved a $5 increase in the price of swimming lessons, from $35 to $40,
* Pool party prices saw a slight increase as well, but the increases were based on a redistribution of the number of people expected to attend a party.
The 2011 prices were $160 for 1-100 party guests, $180 for 100-250 party goers and $270 for 250-500 people.
Next year, they will be 1-75 people for $160, 76-150 for $200 and $250 for 151-300 guests. Board officials say they rarely get parties larger than 300 guests, and
* Renting a park shelter, gazebo or partial pavilion space will also cost patrons $5 more, from $30 to $35 plus tax.
Board officials agreed to raise the cost of renting the entire pavilion from $100 to $130 plus tax.
In 2011, renting the bandshell only cost a park patron $50, but next year it will be $100.
"There are no exceptions," Jeffries said.
"Anyone who uses these facilities has to pay for them if they want a guarantee the facilities will be available for when they are planning their event."
The park will charge the Rotary Club $2,000 for use of the bandshell, shelter and various other facilities used for an up-to-10-day event.
In addition, the park will charge the Popcorn Festival $700 for use of park facilities for an up-to-4 day-event.
To save money without further price increases, the board previously discussed closing the park's comfort station during the months of January and February to save costs of running the electric heater.
However during Tuesday evening's meeting, Board Secretary Caroline McCullough made a motion to leave the comfort station open year round, with Treasurer Linda Messmer giving the second.
The motion was unanimously approved.
Meanwhile, the board also voted in favor of keeping all security lights turned on in the park.
"Keeping the lights on has really cut down on the amount of vandalism and drug activity that goes on in the parks," McCullough said.
In other park board news:
* Unanimously approved the purchase of a new steel leaf blower, at the suggestion of park superintendent Bill Houck,
* Board members discussed and passed a motion to replace missing parking posts throughout the park,
* Park board officials also discussed hauling 1.5 tons of asphalt in for the park,
* Jeffries told fellow board members the Lion's Club contacted her wanting to donate more trees to Forest Park,
* Board members said they will be hiring another employee next year for the months of April-October to assist Houck with grounds keeping and other maintenance tasks. They said they need someone who can drive trucks and tractors, lift more than 50 pounds, do mechanic work and various manual labor tasks, and
* The board addressed two matters of unfinished business for 2011-- the tree identification project (meant to help local students with educational projects) and the installation of all ten cameras around Forest Park.
Board member Todd Brackman was not present during Tuesday evening's meeting.
The board meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., at Brazil City Hall.
The next park board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13.