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Trustees Examine Recreation & Parks, Library Budgets

Seniors make their opinions heard at Thursday's budget work session.

Garden City's board of trustees took a deeper look into two village department budgets at another work session on Thursday evening at village hall.

Recreation & Parks

Recreation department head Kevin Ocker, along with assistant superintendent of recreation Edward Fronckwicz, presented the recreation and parks department budget breakdown.

They have five individual budgets that fall under the responsibility of the recreation and parks department, Ocker said, which include the pool enterprise, tennis enterprise, St. Paul's building, parks and shade trees and general recreation. The department supports 50 full-time employees – 46.5 of which are tax-supported positions, he added. The others are covered solely by enterprise accounts.

"The shape and responsibility of our department changed a little on January 9 with the merger with the parks division," Ocker said. “…Our goals in this merger are for cost savings and efficiency, and raising the bar as much as we can in the product that we produce.”

The total budget, Ocker said, will be about $5 million without the enterprises and $9 million with the enterprises included. Cavanaugh requested a “comprehensive roll up" of all of the parks and recreation budgets so that there is a complete understanding.

Ocker explained that the department raised $485,144 in revenue for 2010-11, $482,378 for 2011-12, and is projected at about $490,000 for 2012-13. The surplus for 2010-11 was approximately $123,000, he added.

They reduced their request for capital funding in this budget cycle from $1.55 million to $1.365, with the “deferment of the roof at the maintenance building,” Ocker said.

Seniors expressed the need to focus more funds on programs for their age group.

Resident Richard Bankosky, a former member of the Citizens' Budget Review Committee (CBRC), said he continues to feel like there was an effort in the proceedings of board of trustees and the board of education “to marginalize the senior community” through this year’s budget process.

"All I would ask of the board of trustees is that they consider that there are more seniors than there have been and … we would respect having a voice in that,” he added.

Another senior said that the budget is often one that favors the youth, even though proportionally seniors and youth have relatively similar numbers in the village. “Certainly we favor the youth also, but, it shouldn’t be 90/10 or 95/5, it should be a split of the budget,” he added.

Garden City Public Library

The Garden City Public Library's director, Carolyn Voegler, PhD, along with several members of the library's board of trustees, presented the library's proposed 2012-13 budget, starting with an overview of some of the programs and services the facility offers.

The proposed library budget stands at $3,454,030, with the 2011-12 budget totaling $3,321,770. Currently, 21 full-time employees and 34 part-time employees work at the library.

“Part-time salary last year was about $369,000. This year we are working with $147,000,” Voegler said.

Voegler said that one of the largest costs is salaries and benefits. There are mandates associated with those costs, amounting to about 78 percent of the budget, she added. Library board trustee John Pascal said that about eight percent of the budget goes towards operating the library.

Trustee Dennis Donnelly followed suit from a prior discussion regarding the request from the seniors, asking for a list of senior programs currently offered at the library.

The next village budget work session will take place Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at village hall.

Jack O'Niel February 17, 2012 at 07:12 PM
How many volunteers does the library have? Oh, that's right.

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