Parks district approves 2012 budget
By Sarah Einselen
The Crawford Park District commissioners approved the 2012 budget for the parks system at a special meeting Monday, Dec. 12, and changed the minimum balance required in the revenue fund to $27,000, down from the $52,000 minimum set in 2009. Parks director Bill Fisher requested the minimum balance change so $25,000 of the funds carried over could be appropriated for daily operations in 2012.
That appropriation picks up some of the slack that decreased revenues will leave. The district projects bringing in about $124,000 in revenues in 2012, down from $147,000 the district budgeted for 2011. The decrease is mainly because the district anticipates that local government funds received from the State of Ohio will shrink about $22,000 to $53,000. The difference is made up by the carryover from 2011, by renewed support from the Friends of the Crawford Park District and by funds received from Robert Neff’s estate. Neff, a Bucyrus attorney, passed away in 2007 and bequeathed his estate to the park district.
“We definitely are operating on more funds than normal income, including Friends donations, can supply,” said parks director Bill Fisher. “Those funds have come from estates. That’s what makes our financial future gloomy without a levy. We have tried to increase income and decrease expenditures, but the gap is too wide.” Fisher referred to the 0.4-mill levy that the parks commissioners voted to place on the March 2012 ballot.
Budgeted expenses remain relatively unchanged from 2011’s budget, except for a couple of the small accounts, and total expenses are projected to be about $169,000. Appropriations for miscellaneous expenses, travel and advertising shrunk. The district does not plan any equipment purchases, either, besides a pump for Unger Farm and some equipment included in a leftover 2011 grant from the Bucyrus Area Community Foundation.