Park board talks partnerships, hears monthly updates

Thursday, August 2, 2018

During a Marshall Parks and Recreation Board meeting Wednesday, Aug. 1, Park Director Jeff Stubblefield reported sales tax was up $8,000 for the month of July.

“Now instead of being down — year-to-date — $8,000, we are only down around $4,000,” he said. “We continue to watch the budget very closely and make adjustments almost daily.”

During the financial report, Stubblefield also stated the park fund’s total revenue was down this year, at $157,635.80 — as of July — where last year’s total revenue came in at $172,138.50.

“Revenues are down because of the extreme heat,” Stubblefield stated. “The dollar days, when you charge $1 instead of $5, and you get lots of people in there, it has hurt our numbers.”

According to the financial report, the park fund’s expenses were down in July, coming in at $122,278.15, compared to last year’s $159,331.66.

“I’m pleased where we’re at with the numbers,” Stubblefield added. “ ... I feel pretty comfortable where we’re at. We’re in pretty good shape.”

In other monthly reports, Golf Operations Coordinator Jordan Dickson updated the board on upcoming tournaments in August, which will include the annual Marshall Booster Club Tournament Saturday, Aug. 4, the Relay for Life tournament Friday, Aug. 10, the second annual Glow Golf Tournament, and the Marshall Open on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26.

“Another thing I want to bring up, is a lot of people that have been playing — at least 70 percent of the people that go out there and play and come back in — they have all good things to say about the course, the greens,” Dickson said.

Day in the Park was a huge success this year, according to Stubblefield, who said there were 15 participants in the walk/run on Friday night, July 20, with approximately 100 people attending the showing of “Field of Dreams.”

On Saturday, July 21, nearly 2,000 people attended, with 577 people through the door at the Marshall Aquatic Center.

“The weather was fantastic. ... It was just a beautiful day,” Stubblefield said. “We had our debriefing meeting (Tuesday), and we’ve already began planning next year. ... We’re planning on doing it (July) 19th and 20th.”

The MAC has been open 68 days so far this season, with 12 early closures, and 20 National Weather Service heat advisory days. According to Stubblefield, 18,608 people have been through the door this year, and 135 memberships have been sold.

A new partnership this year, between the park and Salt Fork YMCA, is working out nicely, according to Stubblefield, who said both parties are happy.

“Both of us are very pleased with how things are going, very smooth,” he said. “It’s all about communication. Everybody’s happy.”

In other news, ConAgra recently won a sustainability grant, and will be giving that money to the park to help with future renovations of Lake Minesa.

“I’ve been working with Chuck Hines at ConAgra ... on the paperwork,” Stubblefield said. “When we get all the paperwork completed and processed, hopefully we’ll get that done sometime next week, ... we’ll know exactly what we’re doing, and then we’ll put it in the capital improvements fund for future projects for Lake Minesa. So, I’m excited about that.”

Changes in class sizes may impact a recent partnership between the park and the Saline County Career Center Culinary Arts Program, according to Stubblefield.

“After talking with Chef Reyes, they’ve loaded her up with 20-plus kids in the morning and afternoon, and there’s no way we’re going to get 20 kids over there in that space,” he said. “So they’re shutting down the 8th for school, because Chef has to go back and my workers are all school employees. We may have to rethink our situation there. I’ll know more after Friday’s meeting as to what direction we want to go.”

Stubblefield said they do hope to maintain their partnership with the school.

The Saline County Senate Bill 40 committee will meet with Stubblefield on Monday, Aug. 20, to hear from the two selected suppliers for the handicap accessible playground.

“I’m hearing nothing but great feedback from people,” Stubblefield said. “It would really make this a nice destination park, and it would be a nice addition to our system.”

Board members John Angelhow, Wayne Crawford, Ronnie Hill, Pat Kennedy and Sam Unteidt were all present Wednesday evening. The Marshall Parks and Recreation Board will meet again at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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