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South Whidbey Parks approves $1 million budget
Parks revenue is pegged to rise, not by much, in 2014.
One of the final meetings for the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District in 2013 saw three of the five commissioners approve a 1 percent levy increase with a 3-0 vote.
Next year, South Whidbey Parks will work with $990,885 in total revenue and hope to end 2014 with nearly $367,934 left in the maintenance and operations, capital, reserve, project and bond funds. Parks Director Doug Coutts said the 1 percent levy increase, allowed under Washington state law, boosted revenue by an additional $8,400. Property taxes will bring in nearly $594,000 for maintenance and operations in the parks district.
Expenses are estimated to total a little more than $1 million, which is more than last year because of a 1.1 percent cost-of-living increase and a 3 percent merit raise. Partially restoring the maintenance and facilities budget — cut $19,000 last year — by nearly $11,000 was also a contributor.
“We’re maintaining what we currently have,” Coutts said, echoing the district’s operations mantra of the past few years.
The program budget is also projected to rise. It will include additional classes and the return of the Chum Run 5K race. Program Director Carrie Monforte said the annual race went on hiatus this year because the volunteer race director was tending to family issues.
One of the notable decreases in programming will be basketball, which was reduced by $5,000 after low attendance this year was projected to continue in the future.
Monforte is working on standardizing the program’s contractors for a higher revenue split, which could help the district recover its expenses for programs. She proposed a more uniform split of 80 percent for the contractor — including classes like the K9 Nosework and summer aquatics/swimming lessons - and 20 percent for Parks.
“The programming really takes care of itself,” Coutts said.
The parks district has a history of having more than $180,000 as an ending cash balance for the past two years. According to the final budget summary, South Whidbey Parks expects to carry over more than $240,000 at the end of 2014, thanks to a $92, 967 transfer from the reserve.
Parks commissioners approved the budget, which was sent to Island County for approval.