Parks and Rec postpones approval of budget agreement with Danville

Published 9:09 am Friday, August 11, 2017

Parks and Recreation has not yet signed an agreement with the city of Danville regarding the city’s funding for the current fiscal year.

The agreement was due back to the city by Aug. 1 and states that the city plans to provide $238,000 for the Parks and Recreation budget. John Drake, director of Danville-Boyle CountyParks and Recreation Department, told the commission for the most part, the agreement is pretty straightforward.

“There’s really nothing on there that we wouldn’t do anyway,” he said.

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However, the agreement does state that the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Commission must only use the money contributed by the city “for those public purposes described on Exhibit A attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference.”

Commissioners pointed out no Exhibit A was attached to the agreement and Administrative Assistant Amber Charter said no exhibit was sent from the city.

“It’s referred to several times,” Commissioner Heather Wheeler said. “If we’re agreeing to use the money for those purposes, we should know what those purposes are before we sign.”

Commissioner Jeff Thornton questioned if it could be language that didn’t get properly updated in the newest version of the agreement, but said, “we need to ask.”

Chair Rodger Ross asked if there was an agreement from the county that was similar to the one from the city.

“I don’t like signing this with one entity and not with the other,” he said.

Drake said he would inquire about an agreement with the county, while also checking to see if there was a page missing in the agreement sent from the city.

County could cut funding next year

While funding seems to be on track this year, the Boyle County Fiscal Court is warning the Danville-Boyle County Parks and Recreation Department and other agencies that funding could be cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year, according to a letter presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission Wednesday afternoon.

“Unfortunately for us, if it’s reduced on one side of the aisle, it’s going to be reduced on the other side, quite frankly,” said Drake.

The letter was signed by all six Boyle County magistrates and Judge-Executive Harold McKinney.

“I’m sure this is a letter that went to all agencies they were funding. I share that with you so it’s not a surprise if we get here next year at the same time, we’re having raffles and yard sales,” Drake said.

If the money is reduced only slightly next year, such as by $3,000, Drake said Parks and Recreation would be “OK.”

“If they cut us back $30,000, then we have tears,” he said.

For the current fiscal year, however, “the county did fund us fully as requested,” he noted.

Drake said there was money carried over by both governments in the capital projects fund for Parks and Recreation — relatively new funding that’s overseen by a joint ad-hoc committee of Danville, Boyle County and Parks and Recreation officials.

Funding cut for city parks

Funding has not been allocated for work to be done at Cowan Park, the Sixth Street Park or Jackson Park, Drake said.

Drake said on Thursday that last year, the city contributed enough funding to help with some maintenance at Cowan Park, Sixth Street Park and Jackson Park.

“There was enough funding to pay (for) the utilities bills over there and the porta-johns,” he said.

He told the commission on Wednesday that the extra money from Danville was not included in the city’s allocation this year.

Another request has been made to put a portable toilet at Cowan Park; Drake said he was going to have to look at the budget and see if that would be possible.

“The county’s main concern is that those areas are not to be used for jointly-funded money,” Drake said. “We are trying to do that. We’ve been keeping track of that.”

The Boyle County Fiscal Court sent a letter stating that the department had received $246,750 in funding for the 2017-18 fiscal year. As a condition of receiving the funds, Parks and Recreation will have to give two short presentations on its activities and expenditures to the fiscal court.