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Rec. District budget down slightly for FY2014

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Recreation District spoke about their budget before the Sheridan City Council and at their own board meeting Wednesday.

The district proposed a Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which begins July 1, slightly less than last year’s. In 2012-13 the SRD had a $1.2 million budget, and this year’s allocates $1,181,150.

The SRD’s operating revenue comes from a Sheridan County School District 2 mill levy, fees and charges and the city of Sheridan. The Weed and Mosquito Program also generates $136,300 and they plan for a $151,00 carry over.

The reserve is needed in order to make payroll each year in July when the budget turns over, Wright said.

The district requested $113,100 from the city, which is about $2,000 more than last year. The increase will pay for an additional part-time seasonal employee.

The recreation district offers 200 sports programs for adults and children.

It also operates the Kendrick Pool and ice cream stand, conducts community recreation programs, maintains city tennis courts, seven baseball fields and 100 acres of park area, and provides weed and mosquito control through spraying operations.

“We’re trying to depend less on tax dollars,” Wright said about this year’s budget, noting that the district has been working to offer balanced fees that fully pay for programs and bring in a little revenue to keep programs going into the future.

Recreation District board members asked why the budget was lower than last year and business manager Richard Bridger credited it to “just being conservative.”

He said a large part of the reduction came from not operating the old Woodland Park school anymore. The SRD was paying several employees to operate the vacant school with its programs, including one full-time employee, and also paid for the utilities through SCSD2 on the building before the school district sold the building last year.

Additionally, Wright explained that their staff has become younger, meaning they will pay less in salaries and benefits in the coming year. There are no employee raises planned in the new budget.

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