Willard's Park And Recreation Department Weathers Tough 2014

By Jean Murray
Times-Junction Correspondent

Weather played a major factor for the Willard Park and Recreation Department in 2014, according to director Bryson Hamons.

Extreme temperatures at the beginning of the year caused some broken pipes at the Depot Building. Damage to the historical building was $6,000 for walls, ceilings, cabinets and carpet, Hamons noted.

"With the Depot damage restored and the summer season moving full steam ahead, Mother Nature once again showed her might power on June 18 as a micro-burst of high wind made its way through Willard causing severe damage to the park," Hamons said. "In a matter of minutes, the park grounds resembled the aftermath of a small tornado as the maintenance building was destroyed."

According to Hamons, the high winds ripped the roof off the building and blew it into the skate park and the swimming pool. In a few minutes, nearly $50,000 worth of damage was caused as the maintenance building was completely destroyed, half of the Depot roof torn off, numerous trees uprooted and snapped off, power lines torn down and litter throughout the park.

"Shortly after the storm, I realized the dedication of my staff," noted Hamons, "as many returned to the park to help with the clean up without being asked. Park maintenance workers, lifeguards, concession workers with the help of ordinary citizens, sports team and community organizations all rallied quickly to restore the park."

Revenue for the park and recreation department totaled $217,927 ($216,774 in 2013) came from the following in 2014 (with the 2013 amounts):

• Real estate tax - $41,118 ($36,445);

• Trailer tax - $44.64 ($45.07);

• Lodging tax - $7,057 ($3,297);

• Homestead/Rollback - $3,186 ($4,898);

• Pool sales - $14,446 ($15,142);

• Water aerobics - $650 ($670);

• Concession sales - $4,838 ($5,648);

• Rental reservations - $16,460 ($19,474);

• Festival income - $17,853 ($15,446);

• Reimbursements, refunds, miscellaneous - $594 ($475);

• Donations - $11,175 ($5,815);

• Interest earned $474 ($300);

• Transfer: income tax - $100,000 ($94,022), and

• Transfer in: pool fund - $0 ($15,092).

Expenses in 2014 totaled $219,157 (compared to $230,093 in 2013) included the following:

• Salaries and wages - $45,183 ($25,389);

• Longevity - $0 ($1,920);

• Overtime - $8,963 ($6,691);

• Retirement payout - $O ($24,649);

• Holiday and personal - $2,400 ($1,349);

• Sick leave - $150 ($0);

• Vacation - $0 ($87.48);

• Seasonal labor for recreation department - $22,180 ($23,886);

• Seasonal labor for swimming pool - $28,988 ($35,577);

• PERS - $15,627 ($13,433);

• Medicare - $1,605 ($1,342);

• Unemployment compensation - $0 ($42.81);

• Workers compensation - $1,166 ($564);

• Health and life insurance - $6,829 ($1,996);

• Other (drug screens) - $1,059 ($1,297);

• Sales tax - $406 ($528);

• Contract services - $800 ($1,800);

• County auditor - $1,187 ($1,135);

• Licenses and permits - $1,879 ($1,343);

• Building repair and maintenance - $700 ($1,071);

• Building security - $336 ($336);

• Equipment repair and maintenance - $15.53 ($1,538);

• Vehicle repair and maintenance - $140 ($47.76);

• Electric service - $16,474 ($14,976);

• Gas service - $1,382 ($849);

• Telephone service - $1,820 ($1,523);

• Trash disposal - $1.062 ($1,251);

• Water and sewage - $342 ($541);

• General liability insurance - $12,096 ($6,211);

• Insurance deductible - $1,223 ($1,000);

• Festival in the Park - $14,514 ($14,618);

• Refunds - $420 ($400);

• Other services - $4,799 ($4,417);

• Building supplies - $3,306 ($334);

• Chemicals - $2,914 ($3,731);

• Concession stand - $3,314 ($3,471);

• Custodial supplies - $1,040 ($749);

• Equipment repair supplies - $1,894 ($0);

• Fireworks - $3,000 ($4,500);

• Fuel supplies - $3,036 ($6,000);

• General supplies - $4,687 ($14,046);

• Safety supplies - $362 ($0);

• Ground maintenance - $6,905 ($1,001);

• Small tools - $186 ($0);

• Uniform supplies - $732 ($1,042);

• Vehicle repair supplies - $404 ($0);

• Office supplies - $1,464 ($1,140);

• Training - $173 ($390);

• Conference fees and expenses - $957 ($278);

• Dues and subscriptions - $465 ($465);

• Transportation or mileage - $0 ($450);

• Capital Outlay insurance reimbursement - $19,440, and

• Capital Outlay equipment - $10,491.

Swimming Pool Income

Total swimming pool receipts for 2014 were $19,964.

The sale of regular season passes totaled $2,996. The following were by ages:

• Children six and under $1,305;

• Students $3,981;

• Adults $1,392, and

• Seniors - $45.

Swimming pool reservations added $1,237 in revenue. Pool programs brought in $4,170 and concession sales $4,838.

Hamons said it was a tough year on the parks but a successful one for the department.

"One may have easily seen all the destruction to the park and town," he pointed out. "I was able to see past the destruction and witness the adoration that people have for Willard and the park system as neighbors, businesses, groups and children helped each other with storm clean up and quickly restored normalcy to our community. That same adoration was once again displayed in November as voters passed a .5 mill levy in support of the park."

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