Rec. board hears year-end updates on pool, ice cream stand

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District board worked through a full agenda at their regular meeting Wednesday, hearing year-end reports from two of its cornerstone summer programs.

Reports on the much-maligned issue of the aging Kendrick Pool weren’t as bleak Wednesday, as the board heard the final report from aquatics director Jamie Ostermyer. The SRD budgets for the pool, which is more than 75 years old, as a loss each year.

This year, the net loss was $15,878, which was down from a year ago at $18,406. The Kendrick Park ice cream stand had a $17,607.79 in profit, and that annual gain is traditionally viewed by the SRD as a counter-weight to the pool loss in its budget.

Ice cream stand prices were raised by a quarter across the board this summer, and that resulted in about a $2,000 profit increase. Additionally, despite price increases, patrons to the ice cream stand were up this season.

“It was a good summer,” SRD business manager Rich Bridger said. He added that there has been discussion with the City of Sheridan about moving the ice cream stand so the doors face the park.

Bridger said the city has cited safety concerns in the current set up, where patrons line up out into the roadway of the park. Bridger said there would be cost involved in such a change, as the building has been set up that way for many years.

Pool attendance was the third highest in it’s been in 10 years, at 21,454, pushing up revenues this season, $65,832 from $60,683 in 2012. The board accomplished its goal of “staying in the black” between the two programs at Kendrick Park, board member Alex Lee reiterated Wednesday.

Groups continue to find ways to fund and build a new pool; Kendrick Pool carried a $12,097 expense for repairs and maintenance this summer. The Kendrick Pool Steering committee will meet next week.

Ostermyer also reported that the SRD has moved forward with its partnership in the C.A.R.E. program. A Sheridan County School District 2 partnership, the SRD’s first session begins next week in Coffeen and Woodland Park elementary schools, where they will be involved in the after school program working with first and second graders.

The program couples recreation with educational activities, and the SRD will help with field/floor hockey, basketball and cheerleading in the first session. Other activities include marbles, origami, a jeopardy-like trivia game, and map reading.

Other business:

• Weed and mosquito year end report — Weed and Mosquito director Bill Russell reported that he used $1,200 less this year budget-wise than in 2012. This summer, he sprayed more for mosquitoes — 160 gallons compared to 80 gallons of chemical in 2012. Sheridan County had one reported case of West Nile, but Russell said that was contracted in Campbell County and not reported until it was treated at Sheridan Memorial Hospital. Sheridan County had five equine cases of West Nile, according to a report from the Wyoming Department of Health, while the state of Wyoming had 19 total equine cases. Complaints on mosquitoes were up from 19 last year at 23, while weed complaints went down.

• Legion hitting facility — The board heard a new development from SRD director Richard Wright on a prospective American Legion Baseball indoor hitting shed that would be built in the north corner of the parking lot at Thorne-Rider Park.

The building would be a 60-by 90-foot Cleary structure, with a 24-foot 4-inch roof height. Its construction would be funded by donations, and it would also be used to store the Legion’s vehicles. The SRD wanted to go over specifics with the Legion group before committing funds to the project.

“This is something they’ve wanted for a while, and they’ve decided to move forward,” Wright said. The board as a whole was clear that they were in support of the idea. A indoor hitting facility has been discussed in the Sheridan area for years, and this Legion group is separate from the plans at Doubleday park in the Wrench Ranch Hills Subdivision.

Working with private donations, the group has a three-month plan for erecting the structure, and the SRD board wished to line out specifics of the agreement that would place a new structure on their property, leased from the City. They wanted to make sure the building was properly insulated, go through aesthetics of the structure and specifics of utilities payments before moving forward.

If the SRD put funds toward the structure, Wright said they would want to work out some sort of cooperative use plan where their Webb Wright players could use it.

• Softball field improvements — Adult Sports Program Specialist Robbie Spencer presented the board with his plan for softball field improvements. The fields are owned by Sheridan College, but Spencer said the college supported his idea’s for any improvements, which he explained as mostly aesthetic in nature. His goal is to bring state and regional softball tournaments to Sheridan, and hopes to make the facilities more attractive in order to make that possible.

Improvements would include freshening up the planters at the entrance to the fields, and taking some out to add more benches and seating areas. Spencer said he has partnered with Landon’s Greenhouse for that portion of the project. He added that Clemens Exteriors has agreed to face-lift the dugouts, the front of the concession stand as well as a few other areas around the complex free of charge. He said the project is going to be funded “90 percent by donation” and is still accepting help from the community for the venture.

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Brad Estes

Sheridan Press sports editor

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