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Parks board approves 2013 budget

Published on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 by Meg Olson

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Parks commissioners have approved a $95,000 budget for 2013, over a third of which is earmarked for repairs and improvements to the Gulf Road community center, but that won’t include the big-ticket items – a leaking roof and soggy foundation.

“We don’t have enough for a new roof, regardless,” commissioner Mary Edgley said, at the parks district’s December 10 meeting. “We will need to go for a capital improvement levy for that.” Commissioner Mark Robbins agreed that going to the voters for a special levy to cover big repairs was appropriate. “It was stated when we went to the voters last time the six-year levy was for operations and not to pay for big items like a new roof.”

Estimates for a new roof for the community center hover around $50,000 and, if ducting for heating and air conditioning are replaced at that time, the price will rise. “We’ve got to do the air ducts in five years so the idea would be to do it all at once,” commissioner Linda Hughes said.

Several attempts to stop a leak over the center’s stage have failed. The most recent patch held through heavy rains in the spring, prompting commissioners to replace the damaged ceiling. “It’s leaking again,” Hughes said.

Crawl space improvements to reduce moisture and reinforce the structure are also estimated at about $50,000.

Hughes pointed out the only way the parks district could afford the major improvements the community center needed would 
be if “we sold our big asset.” The district purchased the Julius Fire Station adjacent to the community center for $98,000 in 2010 and is currently renting it out as a storage facility. The Friends of the Point Roberts Library are raising funds to convert the building into a new library and according to an agreement with the parks district, they have five years to make it happen.

“It would seem like a bit of a dirty trick with all the library fundraising going on,” Robbins said.

The parks budget has earmarked $39,700 for repair and maintenance, and Robbins said the district has plenty of smaller items to address that are still priorities. “Is there a consensus to go ahead with any of this?” he asked commissioners, presenting a ‘wish list’ of projects.

Commissioners decided it was a priority to spend $4,000 for a new roof and skylights for the bathrooms at Baker Field in order to make the bathrooms useable next summer. Another priority was repainting the interior of the community center. “It all looks really grungy and institutional,” Edgeley said.

Other projects considered important included a tankless water heater to lower utility costs, striping in the parking lot, digitized locks and new tables for special events. The cost would total $7,000. Parks commissioners agreed to research costs on smaller but desirable items such as picnic tables for Baker Field, storm drain repairs, further training for kayak program instructors and a new lawnmower.
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