Park district poised to pass $1 million spending plan

The Vashon Park District board plans to vote next week on a $1.07 million spending plan that includes funding for a number of programs and projects, including the swimming pool, the skate park and its new fields complex north of town.

The Vashon Park District board plans to vote next week on a $1.07 million spending plan that includes funding for a number of programs and projects, including the swimming pool, the skate park and its new fields complex north of town.

The budget includes nearly $100,000 for ongoing construction at the fields complex, money the board says it needs to spend in order to take advantage of a matching state grant.  It also includes $45,000 in revenue the board hopes will come into the district’s coffers after it passes a resolution for a new set of user fees.

Revenue from property tax receipts, meanwhile, is expected to come in at $993,000, a decrease from previous years.

Some people in the audience at a recent meeting questioned some of the numbers in the budget, wondering how they were reached. Islander Hilary Emmer, for instance, noted that the budget assumes a significant reduction in insurance costs.

“I don’t see much reality in this,” she said.

But Bill Ameling, the board chair, said he believes he can get insurance costs down, adding that by necessity the budget is built on assumptions.

“We’re restructuring a lot,” he said. “But we can’t do anything until we pass this budget.”

The budget also includes nearly $170,000 in bills the park district couldn’t afford to pay last year, an issue of concern, Commissioner David Hackett said.

“I don’t want us to be in a position like we were in last year, with several thousand dollars in bills that we didn’t know about,” he said.

Hackett called for an amendment to the budget that would track debts and thus make the district’s financial situation more transparent, a motion that was accepted by the other board members.

The board is also expected to hear the results of a special state audit at its meeting next week. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ober Park.

Vashon Park District’s commissioners will hold  their annual retreat on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Ober Park building. This is an open public meeting. No public comments will be taken.

 

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