Things are looking up this year at the Park District of Forest Park as, after a couple of cool summers, park staff reported high attendance and pool pass sales during last week’s Park District board meeting. Also announced at the meeting was the proposed budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year, now available for public review, an update on the joint venture between the park and the village to potentially purchase the Roos Building and park attorney Joe McGah’s resignation.
“As far as money we are doing about $20,000 ahead of what we did last year,” Larry Piekarz, Assistant Director of the Park District reported in an interview on Monday. “Last year in April and May with pool passes and rental we did about $70,000 in revenue. This year we are at $89,000.
“The first weekend we had over 1,600 people here,” he told commissioners. “It was hot. We had more out of town people because this was the only pool open and our kids were still in school!”
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, however, Piekarz cautioned as “this past weekend has been slow with Father’s Day on Sunday and Saturday was very cool.”
Regardless, officials said attendance has been good.
“I am hoping that people take advantage of the great deal they have in town and pool passes are still on sale,” Piekarz said. “The first couple of years was very good, we are so dependant on weather that it is so up and down. It is very hard to say.”
Thus far, he added, the district is right on schedule with their projected expenses and revenue for the pool.
“We are to the budget in what we think we are going to bring in to pay expenses,” he said. “Are we going ‘we can go crazy’? No, we had a pump go out on the water slide, some big expenses at the beginning, but we got a good start and that makes it hopeful we will meet the budget.”
The Roos project
Park Director Dave Novak told park commissioners at the meeting he had received notice from Village Administrator Mike Sturino that the second proposal for the appraisal of the Roos Building had been received.
“The first [proposal] was $8,000, the second was the same company that did the Altenheim, [for] $2,000,” he said. “I sent a memo stating the park agreed to pay for half and indicated once the appraisal was complete we have to have a second joint meeting.”
Also presented at the meeting for review was the proposed 2005-2006 fiscal year budget.
According to the budget, prepared by Park Treasurer Jerry Sebesta, the park will have $547,574 on hand at the beginning of the fiscal year and expects to receive, from all sources, $2,801,153 throughout the year. Expenditures for the year are being projected at $2,801,135.
In addition, the park estimates they will receive $1,839,183 from taxes during the year.
Of the expenses, and on the administrative side, the largest expense is in salaries and capital improvements, projected at $161,300 and $273,074, respectively.
Also included in the general corporate fund expenses are $15,000 for professional development and $75,000 for the pool fund support.
For buildings and grounds, the largest expense projected is also for salaries, coming in at $191,700.
The total appropriation for the general corporate fund is $1,031,000, with $991,375 of this being raised by tax levy. This tax levy includes a 3 percent fee for loss and cost of collection. Other revenue sources for this fund come from fees, parking and billboard moneys, totaling $68,500.
Projected expenses for the recreation fund are estimated at $479,000, with $169,950 of this coming from the tax levy. Other revenues for this fund are coming from concessions, interest earned and fees for programs and events, estimated at $314,000.
The total appropriation for the aquatic fund is estimated at $270,000 with no moneys being raised by tax levy.
Also in the budget are expenses for insurance funds, retirement funds, public auditing and police and recreational programs for the handicapped, among others.
The Park, Novak said, will also be sending out a 4th of July donation letter to all businesses in the area.
“Over 300 to 400 letters will go out asking business for donations for raffle prizes or cash donations,” he said.
Also being sent out are sponsorship letters for the 37th Annual Forest Park Invitational Softball Tournament, scheduled for July 28 through 31.
Novak said he has been attending other major no-gloves tournaments and already has 20 solid teams for the tournament.
“How we do next weekend will determine the next four to be invited,” he said. “The 45’s are trying to do a double repeat.”
The 45’s won the Forest Park invitational and the American Softball Association Nationals last year and will be trying to do a repeat this year, making tournament history.
With ‘regret’ the board also accepted attorney McGah’s resignation as the district’s legal counsel, after almost 14 and a half years at the post.
McGah said he was resigning because he was not in the area as much anymore and will be staying in Indiana full-time.
“I enjoyed my years here,” he said.