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Rec. District OKs increase in budget, talks fees

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District met Monday night to approve their budget for the 2015 fiscal year. While last year’s budget was $52,000 less than 2013, this year’s budget made a significant jump.

The district approved a budget of $1.21 million for the 2015 fiscal year, a $65,000 increase from last year. The major topic of discussion for the budget and for moving forward was the fees charged by the SRD for their events and sports programs.

A big part of those expenses and their biggest loss year after year comes from the Kendrick Pool. Aquatics, which were grouped in with events such as the Easter-egg hunt, are budgeted with a $103,655 expense while only having an $86,400 income, a $17,000 difference. SRD Executive Director Richard Wright said the pool’s number one expense is the utilities required to keep it running, with the pool’s chemicals being a close second.

To help combat those expenses, SRD Board Vice President Alex Lee led a discussion about program fees implemented by the district. It has always been a goal of the district to keep their fees low to increase participation. However, it must be understood that keeping these fees low means sometimes making sacrifices in equipment and fields, he said.

While the board hopes to keep their fees low, they also understand that gradual increases are needed to supplement their rising expenses.

“We don’t want to get caught behind,” Lee said. “If we get behind, we either eat it or end up having to make a large 10-15 percent adjustment.”

Lee’s suggestion to the board was to bring somebody in to look at their expenses and get ahead of the curve in regards to making their adjustments. Board President Don Julian reiterated the importance of gradual increases versus a big jump.

“It’s important as costs go up that we compensate some,” he said. “It needs to be gradual instead of a bunch all at once.”

Wright said that the SRD has never received a complaint about their fees, and that their fees are typically lower than most others around the state. Their sports programs already bring in a projected $20,000 for the district.

In conjunction with the budget meeting, the board also held their monthly board meeting last night. They looked over an assessment report of Kendrick Pool that asks for nearly $700,000 worth of maintenance that needs done at the pool. Wright planned to meet with the mayor’s office today to discuss the assessment.

Wright was pleased to tell the board that the SRD has finally been able to get out and do more mosquito-spraying in the recent weeks. They’ve received several complaints of areas where mosquitos have gotten bad, but due to poor weather and lots of moisture they haven’t been able to get to many of those areas to spray. Luckily, Wright said, they’ve done a lot more spraying which has helped keep the complaints to a minimum.

The final order of business for the evening was to elect officers. Although there wasn’t too much change, Lee nominated Casey Osborn to take his place as vice president, which was seconded by Secretary Kim Anderson and accepted by Osborn. Anderson was reelected as secretary and Julian was reelected president.

About

Mike Pruden

Mike moved to Sheridan from Indianapolis, Indiana. Family and his passion for sports brought Mike to the Cowboy State, where he began working as the sports editor for the Sheridan Press in June of 2014.

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