Parks Board proposes changes in 2009
Special to the Independent
ARENAC COUNTY— In an effort to save money, the Arenac County Parks Board (ACPB) has proposals to cut spending. According to Ron Branda, ACPB Chairman, Oasis Lake Park will be open five days a week and AuGres Park attendants will only work four days per week.
“Mondays and Tuesdays Oasis will be closed,” Branda said. He says in past years these days have traditionally been slower at Oasis Lake Park. He added, Wednesday through Sunday, the park would be open as usual.
“We want Wednesdays to be open for seniors,” Branda said, adding in summer 2008, Wednesdays became free to seniors and that it’s important to keep Senior Day continuing.
According to Branda, AuGres Parks won’t see a change in its availability to the public but will include cutting the hours of its park attendants.
“The gate (at AuGres Park) will be open (when there isn’t an attendant present),” Branda said. He says instead of having a park attendant seven days a week, the attendant will only be utilized four days per week.
According to Branda, the changes are an effort to minimize costs for the ACPB.
“Expenses for both parks is about $57,000 (last summer),” Branda said. However, Branda added, the two parks only generated approximately $36,000 in revenue last summer.
“Last year we (ACPB) had to stick $21,000 into the parks to keep them running,” Branda said. He added the cuts for summer 2009 are to ensure the ACPB won’t run into economic issues for future seasons.
“We’re projecting revenues of only $40,000 (for summer 2009),” Branda said. He said paying close attention to the budget and cutting hours might help remedy the issue.
“Times are getting worse and tighter, unless the state steps in,” Branda said.
Branda says these are just plans and ideas to help save the ACPB money. He says as of now nothing is official. He added these plans would be further discussed and considered for adoption at the first ACPB meeting in mid January 2009.
The Arenac County Parks went over budget in 2008 and 2007.