A concerned, regular reader sent me this via email. Your thoughts?
Board of Supervisors AGENDA March 22, 2016
17. Supplemental Budget for Parks & Recreation-Fiscal Year 2015-16 (4/5 Vote Required) That the Board of Supervisors adopt the attached supplemental budget for FY2015-16.
Attachments: Public Works Supplemental Budget.pdf
COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
AGENDA ITEM For the meeting of: March 22, 2016
March 8, 2016, Board of Supervisors
Thomas K.. Mattson, Public Works Director
Supplemental Budget for Parks & Recreation-Fiscal Year 2015-16 (4/5 Vote Required)
The insurance cost for the Parks & Recreation budget unit (713) has had a major increase due to a motor vehicle accident in 2013:
• FY 2013-14: $6,154
• FY 2014-15: $54,213
• FY 2015-16: $91,842
The insurance cost is expected to stay at this elevated level for five more years. For FY 2014-15, the General Fund contribution to the Parks budget unit was increased to account for the insurance increase. For FY 2015-16, a supplemental budget request to offset the insurance increase was not approved, therefore the available budget for other expenditures had to be reduced to produce an overall balanced budget. With the spike in insurance charges, insurance is now 42% of the "services and supplies" category of the Parks budget unit. The Parks division has little or no control over most of the expenditures in this category, including utilities, vehicle fuel and maintenance, cleaning supplies, fee envelopes, trash disposal, septic pumping, camp host stipends, and rents and leases. Allocations for equipment maintenance ($7,500) and facilities maintenance ($8,500) were significantly reduced for FY 2015-16.
Prior to the insurance increases, the budget for services and supplies allowed only a limited level of service and preventative maintenance.
In response to the reduced budget for FY 2015-16, the Parks division applied the following cost savings measures:
• Attempted to increase the use of volunteers, community groups. Sheriff Work Alternative Program, and other corrections system manpower.
• Discontinued operation and maintenance of the state-owned Luffenholtz beach access property near Trinidad.
• Developed the means of constructing concrete fire rings in-house rather than purchasing.
• Continued to defer vehicle upgrades, new equipment and tools, computer purchases, and most facility improvements.
In addition, Public Works utilized funds from two Parks trust funds for budget balancing.
During the current fiscal year two projects became urgent and could not be deferred. The Parks maintenance building, which is leased from the Aviation Division, requires testing and abatement for asbestos and mold, structural repairs to prevent further water damage, and lighting upgrades.
Remedying these issues is necessary for occupational health and safety reasons. Testing and evaluation are underway and the total cost of structural repairs is unknown. The repairs for the Parks maintenance building may come before your Board at a later date based on the recommendations by the consultant. Second, the parking lot lights at the Jimmy Smith Fields Landing Boat Launch Facility were chronically failing and required upgrades. Reliable lighting is needed at this facility for public safety. Other unanticipated costs include a hazard tree at Pamplin Grove campground and expenses (administrative time and new signs) for enacting reduced hours at Mad River County Park to address inappropriate nighttime behavior.
If the projected revenue increases are not achieved,there may be an impact to the General Fund.
Two Parks trust funds are being drawn down to cover the current fiscal year costs.
The current situation points to a structural deficit in the Parks Division budget. Public Works anticipates submitting a supplemental budget request for FY 2016-17 to offset the insurance cost increases. More extensive changes including discontinuing services, adding new fees, and disposing of park properties may be needed to achieve a sustainable balanced budget. Potential changes include: Potential changes include:
• Discontinue servicing of the portable bathroom at Moonstone Beach.
• Discontinue installing the temporary dam for summer swimming at Freshwater Park.
• Charge day-use fees at parks such as Clam Beach and Mad River.
• Selling or relinquishing Crab Park, Centerville Beach, Table Bluff County Park, Samoa Campground/Boat Ramp, Fairhaven T Beach Access, Samoa Power Pole Beach Access, and/or A.W. Way County Park.