City board plans to allocate funds to Parks & Rec Board to ensure the completion of several identified projects

BUCKHANNON – The Consolidated Public Works Board decided they would like to allocate more funds for the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.  

The Consolidated Board agreed the Buckhannon Parks and Recreation Advisory Board would need more funds to complete their first round of recommended projects.

“It would just make the most sense to wait until our end of the year and see where we are,” Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner said at the Consolidated Board’s May 23 meeting. “I don’t know if we would have an indication by our June meeting or if we need to wait until right after the new fiscal year to see what our carryover balance is –that’s probably what makes the most sense.”

“We’re not going to spend anything major between now and June 30, so it seems the best thing to do will be to see what we have on the other side of our fiscal year,” Skinner added.

Fiscal years run from July 1 through June 30 of the next year.

Skinner also clarified that the Parks and Rec Board is an advisory board, so all the funds for their projects would come from the Consolidated Public Works Board. City advisory boards are comprised entirely of volunteers, and they don’t have their own budget line items.

“We wouldn’t be creating a budget line item for the Parks and Recreation board; it would be in Consolidated, and this board would approve or deny or modify requests for the Parks and Recreation Board,” Skinner said. “They are getting a list of projects and priorities compiled with an A list, B list and a C list, and this group has been working very hard. They have been meeting twice a month, and these folks are really taking it to heart, so we want to make sure we’re supportive.”

During the last Parks and Rec meeting, the board went to the City Park and the North Buckhannon Riverfront Park.

“We were going to focus on those two parks first — the city park is really in dire need – and the North Park is in pretty good shape; there are a few minor fixes like there is a swing that’s broken over there near the basketball court, and the sandbox doesn’t have a lot of sand in it if we want to keep [the sandbox], but there are just some things we can do over there,” Skinner said.

“The biggest thing in North Buckhannon is it that needs paving badly,” the mayor added. “I’d like to pave the whole area, the parking area and then pave underneath that one pavilion that has gravel under it. That parking area is awful; it’s just nothing but craters, so people must drive about three miles an hour through there.”

Amberle Jenkins, the city’s director of finance and administration, said the Consolidated Board had about $29,000 in the Parks and Rec budget at the end of April, and the new budget that begins July 1, 2023, will have about $35,500.

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