Parks board moves to fill rain barrel

Parks district commissioners are looking at a significant enough budget carryover in 2016 to start rebuilding a rainy day fund.

Taking the allowed 1 percent increase in their levy, the district is estimating it will collect approximately $50,000 in taxes in 2016, and another $12,000 in rent for the Verizon tower. After 2015 expenses, including improvements to Baker Field now in progress and the purchase of new audiovisual equipment for the community center, parks board chair Mark Robbins said the commissioners estimate approximately $60,000 in carryover, giving them a 2016 budget over $120,000.

The board took measures to protect their budget in case voters failed to approve a capital improvement bond. “We’ve been very, very frugal in the past few years with big emergency items hanging over our heads,” Robbins said. The $250,000 bond, approved by voters last November, allowed the district to fix the community center roof and drainage system and pay for a seismic assessment of the building.

At their November 9 meeting parks district commissioners approved the remaining funds from the bond, $31,625, as their capital improvement budget for 2016. The funds will be used to tick off as many items leftover from the list included with the levy as they will cover, including a new hallway floor in the community center.

As budget amounts are finalized in the new year, commissioners agreed carryover would be moved into their investment account “to serve as a more visibly distinct rainy day fund,” Robbins said.

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