BY KIRSTEN ISBELL
Clarkston News Intern Writer
Summer camp success means more than $240,000 in additional revenue for local parks.
“We opened up a new day camp at Bay Court Park,” said Derek Smith, parks and rec director at the Sept. 25 Independence Township Board meeting. “Our summer camp program has really taken off. We have already turned people away at the door for the summer camp at Clintonwood.”
The parks and rec department is budgeting $1,429,000 over the next 10 years, said budget analyst Rick Yaeger.
Overall, the budget increased by 15.4 percent compared to 2018, with a 7.4 percent increase in revenues, 12.4 percent increase in expenditures for wages, and 7.6 percent increase for operation costs.
Revenue increases are from fees for special events, summer camps, swimming classes, and tournaments. The new Clintonwood spray park is predicted to bring in high revenues as wells, Yaeger said.
The department is looking to spend $200,000 in 2019 – $10,000 for the Carriage House at Clintonwood and baseball roofs; $10,000 for Carriage House well; $10,000 for mowers; $50,000 Clintonwood east parking lot expansion; $40,00 for Sashabaw parking lot expansion and entrance work; and $80,000 for baseball field concourses.
Spending increases include higher wages for employees, additional employees for the spray park, payroll tax increase, supplies for Deer Lake, and contracted services.
The adult softball program will be cut due to decreased revenue of $7,000 from lack of interest in the sport, Yaeger said.
Soccer is also expected to decrease $20,500. Its projected income has not been met the last three years, so they are lowering the projected income. The tennis program has also been cut, he said.
“They were budgeting extremely high,” he said. “The three-year average we usually come in right around $100,00 per year. I wanted to be more realistic with our budget and bring that down.”
Youth baseball is projected to drop 12.7 percent, meaning there will be fewer staff scheduled. Contracted services are also decreasing based on previous years’ average expenditures.
Unexpected items and events that could affect the budget include major staffing changes due to low or high attendance; major equipment breakdown; bad weather during Fourth of July events; Brady Lodge rentals and operations; and adding new events and programs.
The township is looking to spend $300,00 in 2020 – $30,000 for mowers; $200,000 for a new Bay Court Park playground; and $60,000 for the Clintonwood walking trail.
In 2021, the township is budgeting another $300,000 – $15,000 for mowers; $200,000 for Clintonwood ball field lights; and $85,000 for the Stickney-McCord park entrance, sign, and parking.
BY KIRSTEN ISBELL