South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District budget priorities for 2017 outlined

South Whidbey Parks commissioners laid out their budget priorities for the coming year at their regular monthly meeting last week.

Rather than prioritizing large renovations to district facilities such as South Whidbey lakes or Community Park fields, “parks enhancement” was unanimously deemed the 2017 budget priority. New maintenance equipment including a Kubota tractor, Toro utility vehicles and a Dodge Ram truck were discussed as priorities that fit under the “parks enhancement” category.

The five parks commissioners compiled individual lists ranking budget categories such as maintenance, trails enhancement and field renovations. The individual lists were then compiled as a way to measure the district’s priorities for 2017.

Following the prioritized maintenance equipment, the commissioners decided enhancement of Community Park facilities is the second priority. Renovations to the concession building roof, soccer goal improvements at the sports complex and building retaining walls on fields fit under this category.

Field work such as irrigation renovations and the possible construction of a turf field landed as the third priority, while renovations to trails and district-owned lakes followed.

The commissioners were on the same page with the budget. Their compiled lists nearly mirrored each other, making clear the district’s aims for the coming year.

Parks Director Doug Coutts added compiling the lists was a good practice for future grant applications. He said that by laying out the district’s priorities, chances of scoring grant money increase.