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Parks & Rec Budget On Deck

Ocker outlines re-allocation and deferment plan

Despite several significant budget revisions, the Garden City Board of Trustees took no action to adopt the proposed 2014-15 budgets presented at a recent study session. Kevin E. Ocker, the chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs, outlined modifications made to the proposed parks and recreation budget since it was last presented.

“Since Feb. 8, our budget requests for the recreation and parks operations and the capital have been modified,” Ocker said. “I want to confirm that our amended requests sustain our diverse level of service in every area. In addition, our general revenue centers, including program revenues, St. Paul’s field house rentals and the St. Paul’s field rentals now project a 5.5 percent increase raised from our original projection of $464,000 in general revenues to now internal revenues to $492,000.”

One of the major proposed changes to the parks and recreation budget is reallocation of capital projects to contractual-service line items. The original capital request was $761,000, but Ocker proposed moving $105,000 of that to contractual services. “Our capital plan had a number of small funding requests, and several of them have been for years now just infrastructure maintenance items that ended up in this capital plan,” he said.

If all of the athletic courts and fields across the village needed to be replaced, that would be a capital expense, Ocker suggested. However, many of the courts and fields just need to be resurfaced from year-to-year. Other items formerly listed as capital requests include repair to the irrigation system at St. Paul’s, estimated at $35,000, and minor heating and ventilating projects, such as small boiler replacement. Projects such as those total about $105,000, which Ocker recommended be re-allocated from capital to contractual services. “Projects that we can handle with contractors by getting quotes [that] are under the $35,000 threshold allows us to keep ahead on repairs of existing structures,” he said.

Ocker also recommended deferring playground equipment replacement apparatus and safety surface at Grove Park, a $75,000 line item, for one more year. Along similar lines, he proposed deferring playground building rehabilitation, specifically upgrading the exteriors, and “take steps accordingly with our in-house people to do the most important repairs,” including minor painting and soffit work, he said.

Ocker’s plan to defer streetscape improvement was met with opposition from some board members. “I really don’t want to defer [streetscape improvements] but in order to meet the budget demands that we are all faced with, we’re going to defer … hardscape improvements to the 7th Street and Franklin Avenue business district,” he said, admitting, “Improvements like that attract people to our community [and] those areas are tired.”

Projects he suggested that need to be addressed but should be deferred include replacement of pavers, many of which are undulating, installation of raised planters and flowering baskets on light poles, increased seeded areas, addition of small white lights to trees, and replacement of benches and waste receptacles.

“Since I’ve been on the board, and this is the sixth budget I’ve sat through, this project gets pushed off each year,” Trustee Dennis C. Donnelly said. “The pavers on 7th Street, [which] get the most wear and foot traffic, are in bad shape­—they are up and down. I’d like for us to take a look at what we get in lawsuits on trip and falls on 7th Street.” He also suggested installation of small white lights on trees be a priority. “I realize the budget is tight, but I think the board should consider this has to get done some point in time.”

Trustee Nicholas P. Episcopia questioned whether enhancements to the village’s business districts could be done gradually. “Yes, it could be phased,” Ocker replied, for example, allocating money for benches one year.

To sum up, Ocker’s revised capital budget request is $256,000, down from $761,000: $100,000 for trees and $156,000 for equipment, including trucks, mowers and a brush chipper.

Trustee Robert A. Bolebruch suggested chopping trees from the proposed capital budget. “I would much rather take $100,000 and plant trees and plant trees next fall or a year from now and deal with the safety of the parks and the safety on 7th Street,” he said. “To me, that is money much better spent.”

News

Have you considered adding running to your exercise regimen but not sure how to get started? Are you concerned about past injuries? Runners, from experienced to beginner, are sidelined every year due to injury. Physical Therapy Options (PTO) wants to help runners get off to a great start this fall and is pleased to offer the community an opportunity to receive a free comprehensive “Running Analysis.”

 

Physical Therapist Lisa Coors, founder of PTO, views this offering as part of PTO’s mission to help patients live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

Yard sale announced

 

The Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center recently announced its annual Fall Benefit Yard Sale. The sale will be held on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., located outdoors inside the front gate at the sanctuary. Vendors are being sought. A 10 x 17 foot selling area is $45 for the day. (Includes space for selling & space to park one car next to selling space)


Sports

Dance Conservatory Program

 

The Garden City Recreation Department’s Dance Conservatory Program is pleased to announce the start of registration for its upcoming 2014-15 season. Director Felicia Lovaglio, along with Mary Searson and the rest of her staff, are excited to start off another fantastic year. The dance conservatory offers classes to Garden City residents ages 3 through adult which are non-performance based. Age is determined by the start date of the desired class. 

 

Note: Registration is by mail only until Sept. 23. Participants MUST be the required age by the start of the program in order to register. 

 

Each session costs $220 for 22 weeks of class. The schedule and fees for this year’s youth classes are as follows (all classes are 55 minutes long unless otherwise noted): 

Fall Children’s Tennis Classes

Registration for the start of the Fall 2014 Indoor Tennis Program for Children has begun at the Community Park Tennis Center. Walkins and non-resident children attending Garden City Public Schools* will be accepted beginning Sept. 11. Please make checks payable to the “Inc. Village of Garden City." Please note—classes are not considered day care and can not be declared for tax exemption.

* Non resident children who would like to register for the tennis program must prove they attend one of the Garden City Public Schools. Proof must accompany registration. An additional $50 fee will pertain to anyone in this category.

10 weeks of classes—classes will begin Thursday, Sept. 18


Calendar

Living With Pulmonary Fibrosis Program - September 18

Harpeth Rising Concert - September 19 

JV Football - September 20


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com