SHERIDAN — The big picture remains that Sheridan Recreation District staff and board members strive to move their program forward by bringing sports and recreation tourism to Sheridan County. The little picture, though, includes finding funding and the entity responsible for creating the infrastructure for the big picture. An unfinished but forward-moving contract lies between the two pictures.
The majority of the SRD board and Executive Director Seth Ulvestad met with city of Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller, interim City Administrator Mike Jackson and Public Works Director Lane Thompson to discuss the one large agenda item at hand: how do both entities move forward in creating a safe space for recreation in Sheridan, and who bears the responsibility for it?
In Wednesday’s SRD board meeting, conversations continued about creating a nonprofit to essentially create a path for private funding to directly benefit projects and programs coming out of the SRD. Miller said Thursday he believes that to be a settled agenda item and Thursday’s ad hoc meeting helped establish the answer to, ‘What’s next?’ for the coordinating agencies.
SRD receives its funding from tax dollars from the city of Sheridan’s coffers — $152,470 budgeted for fiscal year 2020 compared to $152,560 for FY19. With that budget, SRD has operated programs and maintained facilities and grounds on city of Sheridan property while also utilizing Sheridan County School District 2 buildings for activities.
What exactly SRD staff is responsible for maintaining and updating with its specific budget will be included in the final updated contract between the city and SRD. The ad hoc group decided the city would pay around $5,000 for a contractor to survey the needs of SRD’s committed land and facilities and come up with a minimum standard that needs met, initially deriving from a letter sent by Miller requesting maintenance of the parks.
Miller asked SRD staff and board members if those requirements were clear, leading to the end result of a contractor and the city establishing the standard for those areas.
While the SRD board aims to dream big about building a Double Day Complex facility in north Sheridan and updating Kendrick Park Pool, Miller said the minimum requirements need to be met for the parks under SRD’s purview before that happens. The formation of a nonprofit will help both entities succeed, Miller said, potentially updating the pool faster and erecting infrastructure for future growth of recreation options in Sheridan County.
City attorney Brendon Kerns and SRD attorney Christopher Sherwood will work together with Thompson to secure a contract for both entities to review after the contractor completes the inspection of the parks.
After movement on those aspects, Ulvestad said he would schedule another ad hoc meeting.