Park board expects budget strings to be tight for 2013

Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm

The Clinton County Rec/Park Board was scheduled to hold its first meeting of the new year last Thursday, February 28 at Mountain View Park, but as has been the case in several sessions over the years, there were not enough members on hand to constitute an official quorum.

There were, however, five members present–Chairman Vince Ostertag, Wayne Glover, Gina Poore, Leland Hicks and Randy Speck, as well as Park Director Bobby Reneau. Those members discussed general items of business about the upcoming park season and park usage, with much of the discussions looking at ways to hold down costs and still provide free services to the thousands of the members of the public who use the park each year.

Ostertag first presented a copy of the treasurer’s report for the month ending January 31. Minus around $1,600 in pending bills, the board will have a balance of approximately $3,200 to start off the year. Expenses during the spring and summer season, primarily due to lighting the park, always more than doubles during peak use months, from around late March through early October.

The board will request the remaining $5,000 each in funds for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, from both the city and county to help with those operating expenses.

Also, since the Little League Board had to hold an initial meeting as of late last week, no details about the park’s association with that organization is known at this time. However, Ostertag said he would attend the Little League Board’s meeting and discuss what to do about concession sales for the upcoming 2013 season.

The board also discussed ways to cut down on the number of hours the field lights are used at night, but still offer park access to citizens. Some suggestions were made, including having the electrical box locked after use, possibly requesting the services of the Albany Police Department to shut the lights off at night.

Buildings and grounds items were also discussed, including the switching of a baseball field to a softball field and the adding sealant to the shelter and playground equipment.

They also discussed charitable organizations holding softball tournaments and agreed that the only charge for such may be a $10 per hour fee if the lights are used. Also, other tournaments held would be $100 with an extra $100 if played at night when the lights have to be on.

It was also mentioned that the middle school girls’ softball team may want to charge for home games played. However, all board members concurred that they were against charging any type of amount at the gate with it being a public park, but suggested the teams could set up some place in the park and take donations from parents and/or fans who wanted to make a voluntary donation.

Ostertag, since taking over the reigns as board chairman after Chris Lovelace’s resignation late last summer, has been acting in the dual role of chairman and treasurer of the board, but the latter will be turned over to Gina Poore w hen the board is able to meet with a quorum of members.

The next regular meeting of the Clinton County Rec/Park Board is scheduled for March 28 at 6 p.m. at the park and is open to the public.