Parks commission approves 2019 budget

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission is moving forward with a financial plan for 2019.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the commission approved its budget for 2019. According to the budget, the commission's projected expenses total $570,207.93, with projected revenues sitting at $583,905.29. Director Justin Huss said the commission is adding staff positions in 2019, saying he believes that will help everyone at parks communicate better.

"Part of being successful is realizing when you have not been successful," Huss said during the director's report. "During what has been a tremendous year of growth and challenges, we were not as successful at communicating as we could have been. We've added new positions and are working on more complete, frequent and effective ways to communicate information."

In other business, Huss said he's working to get the dock fixed at Lake Leatherwood City Park. The roof of the dock was destroyed during a storm last year. Huss said he's hoping to find out how much the work will cost soon, saying he's also been working with parks employees to get Christmas decorations put away.

"Christmas lights are down and stored," Huss said.

The commission moved on to discuss the bird blind at Lake Leatherwood. Commissioner Steven Foster said he's working with the Eureka Springs subchapter of the Northwest Arkansas chapter of Arkansas Master Naturalists to place more birdhouses in the bird blind. Foster said that group would like to adopt the bird blind, saying local teacher Doug Stowe will be building 20 birdhouses with students at Clear Spring School.

"If [Stowe's] involved, it's going to be the nicest birdhouses anywhere," said chairman Bill Featherstone.

"What I'd like for the commission to do is authorize funds for building materials for the repair of the bird blind, which is in immediate need of repair," Foster said. "We can put together a work day for master naturalists to put the bird blind back together and develop programing around it."

Foster moved to authorize Huss to enter into an agreement with the master naturalists to adopt the bird blind, and the commission agreed to do so.

"I'm excited about working with them," Huss said.

Also at the meeting, the commission approved year-end financials. The commission ended the year with $597,519.51 in revenue and $444,119.33 in expenses. Huss said he was happy with the way the commission ended the year, and commissioner Ferguson Stewart agreed. Stewart thanked parks employee Dove Bolerjack for organizing the financial information.

The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at The Auditorium.

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