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Park District OKs budget

Funds for additional trail work and Westwood complex repairs included

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

STERLING – The Sterling Park District Board unanimously approved its 2013-14 fiscal year budget Tuesday.

The $6,837,350 budget, $543,800 more than last year’s, includes funds for additional trail work, repairs to the Westwood Fitness and Sports Complex and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance work.

The budget was approved by a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Jennifer Campbell was absent.

While the budget includes a $207,000 deficit, Park District Executive Director Larry Schuldt said that’s because revenue for a trails project was included in a previous fiscal year’s budget.

“When we received the money, we had to record it in the budget,” Schuldt said. “And then when we expend it, that money has already been recorded, so it appears that we’re in the red. If that trail had been done, and we weren’t doing it this year, we’d actually break even.”

The trail work consists of a switchback, for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance purposes, and laying asphalt along a 1.1-mile stretch of trail between Sinnissippi Park and Martin’s Landing behind the Dillon Home. The work will cost $475,000, which came from donations and grant money from the state.

Schuldt said he expects the work to be done by the fall. 

Another major project included in the budget is repairs to the Westwood Fitness and Sports Center, 1900 Westwood Drive.

The center was evacuated May 6 when a fire broke out in a maintenance room, causing smoke damage to the fitness center and tennis courts, among other facilities. No one was injured.

The Park District’s insurance company, Park District Risk Management Agency, will pay for much of the repair work directly; some smaller repairs or equipment replacement will have to be paid for by the Park District, but will be reimbursed.

The budget includes $211,000 in revenue from the insurance company. The repairs are budgeted at $212,000. The insurance policy has a $1,000 deductible.

The cost of all the repairs could be between $1.8 million and $2 million, Schuldt said.

More than 25 Westwood assets will receive some sort of repair work, including the weight rooms, tennis courts and break room. The only Building 1 asset that wasn’t damaged was the track room.

Most of the work, Schuldt said, should be completed sometime in the fall. Most of the facilities still are open, except for the indoor tennis courts, the batting cages, the racquetball courts and the aerobics room.

The Park District has plans to sell or tear down Building 2, although it won’t likely happen until 2018 or 2019, Schuldt said, as the communication and transmission lines from Building 1 to Building 3 run through Building 2.

The Park District needs to bury the lines underground, which could cost between $100,000 and $150,000, Schuldt said.

Also, Field 7 at the Gartner Park Baseball Complex will receive work to become compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Of the $6,630,350 of projected revenue, $2,367,250 (35.7 percent) will come from personal property taxes, $1,938,250 (29.2 percent) from fees and charges and $1,265,000 (19 percent) from bond proceeds.

The remaining 16.1 percent is projected to come from contributions, replacement taxes, insurance reimbursement and miscellaneous funds. The Park District also has $735,704.05 cash on hand.

The Park District is a government agency independent of the city. It has 21 full-time and more than 200 part-time employees.

To attend

The Sterling Park District Board next meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Duis Recreation Center, 211 E. St. Mary's Road.

Go to www.sterlingparks.org or call 815-622-6200 for an agenda.

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