Wednesday, April 26, 2000
Mayor for recreation fund boost
By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NORWOOD Mayor Joe Hochbein will recommend approval of a supplemental appropriation of $54,500 for recreation programs.
The request from the city's recreation department follows scrutiny of the commission's budget after an initial appropriation from council of $215,000 $85,000 less than requested.
Last week, Councilman Mike Fulmer, chairman of council's committee overseeing recreation, and some recreation commission members, expressed concerns about maintaining programs with such a t slash in funding.
If city council approves the supplemental appropriation from the general fund next month, the budget will total $269,000 $31,000 less than the $300,000 originally requested. No programs will be affected.
Jack Cameron, the city's projects coordinator and a member of the recreation commission, said the board, and recreation program director Jennifer Wallace, reviewed the budget and saw no way to maintain programs without more money.
They decided money could be saved by reducing the number of lifeguards from four to three at pools at Burwood and Victory Parks and reducing some pool hours. However, it became apparent drastic measures including closing three neighborhood pools would be required to meet the $215,000 figure, he said.
Other savings will be generated by curtailing minor capital improvements and reducing supplies.
I want to emphasize that while this was a budget issue, it has nothing to do with the city's financial condition, Mr. Hochbein said.
The mayor said statements made by Mr. Fulmer last week that the city's subsidy for recreation would be $4,630 of the original $215,000 appropriation were misleading since the city spends $250,000 a year in work hours directly related to recreation, and spent $250,000 last year in capital improvements to the city's main swimming pool at Waterworks Park.
The mayor agreed with Mr. Fulmer that the annual subsidy from Norwood City Schools is expected to drop from $85,000 to $42,500 this year. Program fees are estimated to generate $168,000 for the year.
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