Last updated: September 05. 2013 1:49AM - 81 Views

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During its first meeting of the year Thursday, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Park Board got a look at a proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget. Like all city department’s, its fiscal year starts April 1.

The top priority next year is hiring a recreation supervisor to work with current Recreation Superintendent Amy Epple, said parks director Mark Hewett.

“Amy cannot continue to do all the things that she does without some help, that’s pretty much the bottom line,” Hewett told the board. “Especially this year, we’ve taken over the American Red Cross swimming lessons and youth baseball, which is really a February to August job, not just during typical ‘baseball season.’ ”

The recreation supervisor position would begin in September and would be considered part-time pay at approximately $18,000.

“We usually get a rec intern during the summer, so ideally we would just hire that person on for September to April, when our next budget year starts,” Hewett said. “We would want to make sure the board approves the position for subsequent years too. We don’t want to hire someone for a few months and then make them wonder if the job will still be there.”

Board members liked the idea with member Jerry Case noting, “This needs to be a top priority. We don’t want Amy to burn out with all the projects she has, or risk losing her to a bigger city where she can have more help.”

Other budget priorities for next year include special projects such as tennis court resurfacing, changing the grass areas to concrete at Liberty Pool and major upgrades to Vermont Park. Expenditures dealing with much-needed repair work to both Liberty and Centennial pools have already been approved by the board, though payments will come from the FY14 budget.

“These projects and the budget are by no means set in stone,” Hewett said. “These were just the things Amy, Dave (Moore, Parks Superintendent) and I talked about needing attention

immediately. I did budget the numbers conservatively, as I usually do. Especially with our sales tax numbers being down so much this year, we don’t want any surprises to come up.”

The proposed budget shows approximately $746,000 in operating expenses, $570,000 for special capital projects and $60,000 for current capital projects; revenue is projected at $2.37 million.

The board will discuss the budget further during its meeting in February.

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