Jennifer Kidder, director of Archbold Parks & Recreation, detailed some budget requests to the Archbold Park Board during its Wednesday, Nov. 1 meeting.
Budget requests must go to the Archbold Village Council finance committee, which makes recommendations to council.
One item in her budget is $66,393 earmarked to employ a second administrator, with an additional $4,000 set aside for a new computer for that person.
The $66,000 amount includes proposed wages, insurance, village retirement contribution, and other costs.
“I’m not looking for someone to do all the things I don’t like,” Kidder said.
The position, which she is calling a recreation program specialist, would develop new programs and special events for the community.
Another $50,000 is set aside for work on a new baseball diamond at Memorial Park, part of a new fourdiamond complex. The project will be done in phases over several years, as money allows.
Kidder has $40,000 put aside for a new fall-safe surface at Woodland Park. The current soft material is called “poured in place,” meaning the mixture was poured into the playground and formed a cushion-like pad.
Over 10 years, the material has been patched, and once a patch is in place, children will pick at the edges, creating another hole.
Kidder said the material needs to be replaced, but she is still researching options.
She also budgeted $18,000 for a used dump truck.
Parks & Recreation often gets hand-me-down vehicles. The current dump truck is a 1998 model that came from the wastewater department.
The truck is often used by young park workers, and the truck carries big loads. She questioned the safety of its suspension.
Further, she noted that those who drive or ride in the truck can see the ground through parts of the floorboards.
Kidder added $6,500 to the budget for 24 new lounge chairs for the Archbold Swimming Pool. At $6,500, the 24 chairs cost $270 each. The chairs are designed for commercial service.
Kidder set Dec. 1 as the date a new payment system for online, credit card, and debit card payments will become operational.
If someone registers for a program that costs $15 and pays online under the current system, the person is charged a $4.95 “convenience fee.”
The new program, through Farmers & Merchants State Bank, charges Parks & Recreation a $20 monthly payment, a $50 annual payment, and a 10-cent transaction fee.
In addition, the system takes 1.5% of the money received for debit card payments and 2.5% for credit card transactions.
On a $25 payment, Kidder said the cost, which will be absorbed by Parks & Recreation, is 60 cents.
“We could raise our program costs by a dollar and cover the cost easily,” Kidder said.
In addition, the new payment system will allow people to use their debit or credit cards at the pool or concession stand.
“People ask all the time if we take credit cards,” she said.
The new system would be an advantage, because people in the village offices or at the schools would have their workload reduced as more people pay online.
She recommends starting now, and evaluating over the course of a year.
The board also talked about the cost of Parks & Recreation programs.
Currently, 128 girls are in the volleyball program, of which 33 do not live in the Archbold school district. They pay the same amount to participate, but if there is a waiting list, district residents get priority.
“Our goal is to accommodate everybody,” she said.
Archbold youths go to Wauseon to play tackle football. They pay an out-of-district premium for that service.
“I’ve been on the record for years saying our program costs are way too low,” said Kevin Morton, a member of Park Board and Village Council. He added it is the choice of the board to subsidize those costs.
For many programs, coaches from Archbold High School are involved, “so they get excellent instruction, and a shirt,” he said.
Kidder said she would do more research on the topic.
Vaughn Bentz and Moses Rodriguez, Park Board members, were absent.
The next meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 pm, in council chambers.