Public Services Director Berkley Squires presented details (below) of a proposed $4 million 2014-15 spending budget, which includes a half million in capital spending. The board approved the budget (to be presented to the mayor) after adding $200,000 to the capital request for the design and construction of a park “gateway”on the former Jiffy Lube property. That cost would be offset by the expected $200,000 to be remaining from the $16.5 million community center building fund after all bills are calculated this month. The property on Oxmoor Road at the corner of Central Avenue has lain idle seven years on orders from the state environmental agency following testing and clean up of fuel spills.
Before adjourning, the Mr. Squires agreed to make every effort to see that recreational leagues send representatives to a Friday, June 13 conference on concussions at Children’s Hospital. Ms. Trimm’s son is recovering from a serious concussion injury.
Members present: Chairman Chris Meeks, Tom Walker, Marjorie Trimm, Michael Murray, Tom Blake, and Tyler Vail.
Members absent: Paula Smalley, vice chairwoman and programs chair, Becky Morton, and Keith Stansell.
Staff present: Berkley Squires, public services director, and Dianne Rice, board secretary. Staff usually present at meetings include Rusty Holley, parks and recreation superintendent, and athletic director Jakob Stephens.
Audience attendance: 1
Approved May 8, 2014, minutes
Community Center status report: Mr. Squires reported that fiber optics are still being installed and they are awaiting installation of minor things like window blinds, door adjustments, etc. The pool is seeing on average 500 people per day compared to 300/day at the old pool. The crowds required moving chairs from the West Homewood pool and 40 more chairs are on order to meet demand. A fix is scheduled for the slippery entrance to the tot pool; there was an issue addressed about the volume on the outdoor PA system. Mr. Squires said parking was not a problem because so many visitors came on foot.
Approved 2014-15 spending budget, adding $200,000 for gateway project: The board accepted the presented ~$4 million operating budget, which represents a 3.5% increase over last year’s request.
OPERATING EXPENSES – $3,950,637
Salaries, benefits, insurance, etc. – $2.7 million
Of the 3.5% additional ($138,272), the majority ($115,000) is to cover 5% merit pay increases ($31,000) and hopefully to fill two vacant laborer positions and hire an “arborist” into a position opened three years ago but never filled. Mr. Squires said since he started work in Homewood, Parks and Recreation is down five positions through attrition that were not filled.
Salaries account for $894,469 of the total, while wages are $1,179,514.
The request is down from last year due to the end of the lease on the temporary building. However, $3,000 is added for additional janitorial maintenance on the new building. The four largest expenses are:
- $38,000 to Trugreen for athletic field maintenance–Yearly treatment visits have increased by about $20,000 for fungus and weed control due to excessive rains.
- $20,000 for “tree removal”
- $17,964 for a new digital time management system to replace time clocks.
- $13,170 to Balboa Capital Fitness
Utilities – $435,000–This represents an increase for the new building.
Building and maintenance contractual services – $117,000 includes building and grounds ($80,000), pool ($18,000).
Miscellaneous – $271,500, mainly for “Park Activity” ($200,000) and “Senior Citizen Activity” ($45,000).
CAPITAL EXPENSES-amended to $498,122
Building improvements– $161,822, including the following largest expenses
- Fencing for field #1 in West Homewood – $48,872
- Tennis court resurfacing – $44,000
- Lee Center floor resurfacing – $19,500
- Patriot Park playground- $19,000
- West HW pool cover and reconditioning filter -$15,500
- New chairs at Senior Center – $14,000
Park Landscape Equipment – $122,300
- $54,700 to replacing two large mowers and purchase a field tractor. The remainder goes to purchase an electric golf cart for Central Park services, put canopies on carts and buy a heated pressure washer.
As noted above, the board, on Mr. Walker’s suggestion, added $200,000 to the capital request to design and build a gateway to Central Park. In discussion it was revealed that Mr. Squires and some members had already seen many designs submitted from Chuck Kelly and Davis Architecture. Mr. Meeks asked that those drawings be shown to the whole board at a future meeting. He also asked that the city provide the board with revenue statements. Revenues produced by park board activities go directly to the city’s funds and are allocated back to the park board each year by the City Council.
Before adjourning, Ms. Trimm asked that the Mr. Squires advertise and encourage attendance at a Children’s Hospital Concussion Clinic on Friday, June 13. The cost is $25. Ms. Trimm’s son has been in recovery for over a year from a concussion. Concussions from organized sports are a growing concern among recreation programs and professional teams.
The meeting adjourned at 6:45.