Parks And Rec Asking For Little Increase In '92 Budget

Plan Excludespay Increases But Includes Greater Responsibilities

January 27, 1991|By Ed McDonough | Ed McDonough,Staff writer

The Carroll County Recreation and Parks Department is requesting essentially no increase in its fiscal 1992 operating budget, even thoughit has more facilities to watch over.

The department has requested a budget increase of three-tenths of a percent -- excluding salary increases and new positions beginning July 1, even though the land management and maintenance office will assume responsibility for the grounds at Carroll Community College and additional facilities at the Carroll County Sports Complex.

"This department likes to spend money like any other department,"Romeo Valianti, a parks board member, said at a meeting of the operating budget subcommittee Wednesday. "But before they spend one dime, they make sure the county's getting its dollar's worth."

To offsetincreased spending for the college, sports complex and management ofcounty rental properties, the department made cuts in the administrative and land management budgets.

The department also has requested 10 new employees, though several of those requests are for upgrading from part time to full time, or from contractual to full time. Another of the new positions is a part-time slot.

In the county budgetprocess, new positions, along with regular salary increases, are notcalculated in a department's line-item request. Instead, they are handled separately.

Steven D. Powell, county management and budget director, has said the county's work force likely will not see a majorexpansion in 1992 because of the recession and subsequent fiscal crunch.

One of the new positions is for a manager at the Sports Complex north of Westminster. Commission members noted that person, who also would be in charge of the concession stand operation at the park, could generate a tidy profit for the county, based on food sales at as many as 19 weekend tournaments scheduled there.

The department, in fact, has requested the park manager be hired now, when and if thecurrent hiring freeze is lifted, to take advantage of early-season tournaments which begin in the spring.

"(The position) was requested last year and denied," Little said, adding the County Commissionersmight agree to the early hiring because of complaints from community members.

Commissioner President Donald I. Dell said both he and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy Jr. had received calls from residents requesting the concession facility be operated when the tournaments begin this spring.

Board members, Little and Dell also discussed briefly the possibility of using students from the county vo-tech program to reinstate a capital budget item that tentatively has been postponed by the budget office.

The $95,000 caretakers' residence at PineyRun Park near Eldersburg possibly could be built by vo-tech studentsat substantial savings to the county.

In the past, vo-tech students have constructed homes, which later are sold on the market. Profits are plowed back into the program to purchase land and materials foranother house.

Vo-tech students also have built smaller recreational facilities, such as storage sheds and concession buildings, in years past.

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