Warsaw Parks Board OKs 2023 Budgets With Increases

Budgets presented to and approved by the Warsaw Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday for 2023 propose increases of 10 to 13% due to capital projects and increased costs.

The Warsaw Common Council ultimately will consider and vote on the budgets during their budgeting process.

Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer presented the main parks and recreation proposed 2023 budget first, which includes salaries and wages. He said the city’s wage committee instructed department heads to put in a 4% increase for salaries and wages.

“This also reflects the midterm increases that are taking effect this year … and then the 4% on top of that,” he said.

The total amount proposed for two salaried employees, 17 hourly employees and 28 season employees and overtime is $1,138,000.

Employee insurance, including medical, dental, life, long-term disability, etc. is proposed at a 12% increase to $460,000. PERF is also proposed up at $128,000, with FICA up at $87,100 and unemployment at $5,000.

Parks Board Vice President Larry Ladd asked where the recommendation for the increases came from, and Plummer said the wage committee. Ladd asked when the Council decided on the increase. Councilwoman Diane Quance, who sits on the Park Board, said the increase was decided in September.

Under operating supplies, Plummer budgeted an additional $20,000 because of rising costs for gasoline and fertilizer. The Parks Department currently is locked into paying $2.57 per gallon for gasoline, but Plummer said with gas prices around $5 per gallon now, they had to be prepared to pay more in 2023.

Utility services – gas, electric, water, sewage for all parks facilities and the Buffalo Street Plaza – were increased 3% to $144,000.

Under repairs and maintenance, Plummer said it was pretty much the same except for $60,000 for the replacement of the roof at Glover Pavilion. He said it’s a high roof and he felt it needed to be professionally done instead of in-house. A new metal roof may last 50 years, he said.

There were three 100% increases in the proposed budget under capital outlays. Those included $45,000 for land acquisition for Richardson Dubois Park – on the east end of Fribley Field – from the nearby church for a full-fledged parking lot; $200,000 for a payment on the new park office building and $60,000 as matching funds for a grant for a Hire Park BMX restroom building; and $100,000 for the development of a park near the Municipal Airport.

New under machinery and equipment is $65,000 for new tables and chairs for Center Lake Pavilion to go with the new facility once it’s completed. An unnamed donor has committed $2.5 million toward the estimated $3.1 million cost to rehabilitate the pavilion.

The total for the 2023 proposed main budget is $3,222,500, a 10% increase over the 2022 budget. Plummer said if you take out the airport park development, land acquisition, office and garage payment, Hire Park restrooms and professional services, “We pretty much held the line on our budgets.”

The Parks Board voted to approve that budget before Plummer moved on to the proposed 2023 non-reverting recreation budget.

The non-reverting recreation budget includes supplies, printing and advertising for programs. It’s proposed at $23,350 for 2023, a 13% increase due to contractual cost increases from the 2022 budget. As of July, the non-reverting recreation budget has $43,447 in that account.

The Parks Board gave its approval to that budget.

The third and final budget is the non-reverting capital fund.

“These are funds from the Nye Youth Cabin, Fireman’s Building and the (paddleboard) kiosks go into this,” Plummer said.

He reminded the Board that for 2022 they put $30,000 in that budget for equipment replacement. For 2023, $20,000 is budgeted for costs related to the replacement of equipment in the paddleboard lockers.

The Board also unanimously approved that budget.