The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission has approved its 2014 budget, which includes an added expense to prepare for the potential retirement of the current department director.
The budget, which was approved Tuesday by the commission and still must be approved by the full City Council, includes an added expenditure of more than $63,000 to fund the creation of a new deputy director of the department.
According to the summary for what's called the leadership transition plan, the position would be funded for six months in the next fiscal year, though future commissions may choose to retain the position in the long run.
Current director Bill Lockwood has been with the city for 31 years, the document states, and is contemplating retirement. The new position is meant to ensure "a smooth and deliberate approach to assure the continued stewardship of Jefferson City's parks, facilities and programs." The commission would fill the position with "an experienced and qualified professional capable of transitioning to the director's position at the time the current director elects to retire."
The 2014 budget is a balanced budget, with an estimated $6.8 million in both revenues and expenditures. The budget is a substantial drop from recent years; the current department budget estimates $10.3 million in revenues and the 2012 budget had $9.1 million, though the actuals for that year show the department brought in $6.8 million in revenues.
According to the budget, the 2013 fiscal year included a $3.9 million transfer from surplus funds, accounting for the substantial drop from the current fiscal year to 2014.
"It's somewhat less of a budget than the current year," Lockwood said. "Our sales tax bears watching."
Lockwood said the most recent receipts for local park sales tax show collections are down $29,000 year to date. He said if collections continue at the same rate, sales tax revenue will be about $78,000 below projections for the 2013 fiscal year.