North Whidbey park district board approves nearly $1 million budget

The commissioners for the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District approved a nearly $1 million budget for 2013 during a recent special meeting.

The taxpayer supported organization, known for operating the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool, will have a $984,685 budget for the coming year.

Park district executive director Bill Walker said the 2013 budget is similar in amount to the current year, which was $983,000. He said the difference between both years of revenue stem from losing the lifeguard contract at Windjammer Park, which was about $10,000 in revenue and $26,000 in more overall more taxes.

During a special meeting of the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District, Walker rattled off a list of factors that were taken into account in developing the new document.

The park district has provided lifeguards at the Windjammer Park lagoon, which is operated by the City of Oak Harbor. The city this year canceled the contract with the district as part of a cost-saving effort.

Walker noted the park district will bring in $576,000 in tax revenues and he budgeted that the district will bring in $120,000 through swim lessons.

He admitted he believes the swim team dues will probably decrease next year because of instability.

The former coach of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club, Neil Romney, was fired from his position and the park district is currently seeking a replacement.

The district is budgeting to pay the new coach $45,000 while the assistant coach will earn $18,000 a year and several other coaches will earn between $450 and $550 a month, according to information provided by the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District.

When Romney coached for the Aquajets, he earned $51,000 a year.

Walker said Romney was reaching the top of the pay scale and that the salary range for the coach of a team the size of the Aquajets is between $40,000 and $50,000.

The budget also has a 3 percent raise for Walker starting in June 2013, which is his one-year anniversary working at the park district’s executive director. He currently earns $57,000 a year.

The commissioners talked about how to charge swim club alumni for pool use when they visit, but decided against making any decision until a new coach is hired.

The park district also budgeted $16,000 for roof repairs and another $15,000 for repairs to the pool’s heater.

The commissioners for the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District will meet again at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at the John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool, 85 SE Jerome St.


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