Archive for Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friend outlines BCRC’s status

July 24, 2008

During Monday's Baldwin City Council meeting, Steve Friend, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission's director, announced his special report on this summer's activities.

Friend's report focused on several areas, including the proposed budget for 2009. Friend said he was disappointed that the pool's subsidy fund had been cut shorter than what he had originally proposed.

"Realistically, we're doing the same hours in the park," Friend said. "So, I don't know if we can cut expenses. With revenue, we'll see. We definitely need to keep losses as minimal as possible."

Although Friend said he hoped to see positive changes in the pool's revenue this year, he also said weather and changes in pricing structure would affect the revenue the pool brought in.

City Council President, Amy Cleavinger, who sits on the finance committee, responded to Friend's comments about the subsidy, saying she and the finance committee "would like to see some numbers and see where we stand" with regards to the pool.

Friend said he would have numbers for the pool after it closed this fall. This year, Friend moved the closing day back to Aug. 17 from Aug. 14 after learning that many students in Baldwin City would only have to attend a half day of school for the first week of classes, which would possibly allow them to go to the pool in the afternoon.

The commission's budget hearing meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday at its new office, 715 High St.

In addition to next year's budget, Friend's report also highlighted other areas, such as the pool, ball fields, parks, and the commission's move to a new office earlier this month.

With regards to the pool, Friend said he had received mostly positive feedback from people. While he had received a complaint from one customer about the lifeguards at the pool, Friend said the complaint was "the exception, not the rule."

Also, the pool hasn't been broken into this summer. Most years have an average of at least one break-in.

Friend also announced plans to do work on the concessions building, which Friend said was in need of re-shingling.

"It looks like it needed re-shingling 10 years ago," Friend said.

Friend has also contacted eight companies seeking playground proposals. He said he thought the Fire Tree area seemed like a good site for the playground and that he would like to create a project supervisor to lead a group of community volunteers in installing the equipment sometime in the fall. Friend said he wanted to make sure the new playground had something new to offer.

"We already have two playgrounds, and we don't need a third cookie-cutter playground," Friend said.

Later in the meeting, the council also went through a first reading of an ordinance authorizing the execution of a loan to finance a wastewater treatment project in western Baldwin City.

Other than a grammatical error in one part of the document, the council appeared to have no qualms with it and passed it on for a second reading.

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