Park Board approves small increase to operating tax levy

Posted: Nov. 14, 2012 11:48 pm Updated: Nov. 29, 2012 12:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Taxpayers living in the Quincy Park District will have to pay a little more next year.

The Quincy Park District Board approved an operating tax levy Wednesday night that is four-tenths of a cent higher than the current rate. Based on a recent estimate of the district’s equalized assessed valuation from the Adams County clerk, the levy of 0.389 cents per $100 assessed valuation is expected to generate to slightly more than $2.2 million.

The levy was 0.385 cents on taxes paid this year, resulting in $2.175 million in revenue.

The increase of 1.3 percent will mean an extra $1.13 for the owner of a home with a market value of $100,000.

“It’s a very minimal increase,” Park Board President John Frankenhoff said. “Nobody likes to see their taxes go up. We feel (it is needed) to maintain the district that we have. The community supports the parks and appreciates them. We feel like it is a reasonable budget. It’s a very minimal, but it’s warranted to maintain what we’ve been doing.”

The board also took a first look at its fiscal 2013 budget, which is projected to have $10.4 million in expenses. Formal action on the budget will be taken at the board’s Dec. 12 meeting. A public hearing is scheduled for the same night.

Before Wednesday’s meeting, the board held a public hearing on its intent to sell $1.2 million in general obligation bonds. The board will now seek bids on the bond issue, which would be approved at the December board meeting. Frankenhoff said the board intends on using only $800,000 of that money for capital projects. The bonds would be repaid in October 2013.

Included on the district’s to-do list with the bond money is $150,000 in renovations to the new building it bought on Bonansinga Drive, and $190,000 for mowers and other equipment. The Bonansinga Drive building will house the district’s offices once renovations are completed.

“Hopefully, (the extra $400,000) won’t ever be needed,” Frankenhoff said.

The board also set fees for 2013. The biggest change is at the district’s two pools — Indian Mounds and Wavering Aquatic Center. Hoping to increase use after a down 2012 season, the district is offering family season passes for the first time. A family pass will cost $150 and will cover up a household of up to five people. Individual season passes, which were $65 this year, will only be $40 in 2013.

“We feel this will be competitive with other organizations in the area that have season passes,” said Mike Bruns, director of program services.

Daily fee prices will stay the same. However, the fee on days where excessive heat warnings are issued will increase to $2, up from $1 this year. Those with financial assistance cards will still be able to use the pool for $1. The board also allowed the pools to hold special promotional days in hopes of boosting attendance and revenue.

Fees at Westview Golf Course will remain the same, except the price of an adult season pass will increase $30, to $700.

Bruns also gave the board a look at how much it costs the district to provide certain programs. He listed nine programs that lost money from the district’s “Family Fun in the Sun” program, which cost $1,500, to the after-school program, which had a net loss of $52,644. The only program Bruns showed any concern over was the adult softball program, which operated at a deficit of $8,171.

“We would like to get that down to more of a break-even point,” he said.