Thursday, May 7, 2009

City Council Struggles With Degrees of Separation – Help Wanted Lifeguards

Council is already salivating over which of their fav services can be restored should alittle more money flow down the river to Roanoke. There is Councilman Trinkle’s wish for leaf collection, Councilman Cutler’s library hours restoration, small business, arts & culture district admissions waver, hybrid car tax relief, funding for agencies, and so on.

Cutler proposed a half cent increase in meals tax to restore funding but that did not go anywhere. He said that citizens don’t need that expensive a calendar.

The City Manager, Darlene Burcham said that the Library Foundation could help the libraries keep their current hours. Burcham said the hours cut would have little impact. They would be hours and days identified where there is low attendance anyway. The cut in hours of operation was part of the budget cut. All agreed on help from the Foundation.

The $269,000 in the pot left to distribute was like candy to Council. Loose leaf collection mostly came from the SoRo Council members. That’s were all the dead leaves accumulate. (That came out wrong but I’m going to leave it.)

There was confusion on where the schools stand with their funding. Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea attended the School Board meeting before the tour of the new William Fleming High School. Lea heard what I heard that the ADM (Average Daily Membership) or enrollment calculation is higher then expected resulting in more state revenue. RCPS is OK or as about as OK as it and the city can be in a recession.

Summer school for RCPS will stay in place for remedial student needs. Optional maintenance summer school program was eliminated. Director of Finance, Ann Shawver was instructed to talk to Curt Baker of RCPS for assurance that the budget is complete and RCPS is satisfied.

Last but not least both the Fallon Park and Washington Park pools will be opened. Collaboration with the Gator Aquatic facility fell through for the Fallon Park pool. If wil cost $203,000 for both pools to operate this summer. Burcham said that Washington Park attendance was low. Bethel thought that this was an attempt to open only Fallon Park. Burcham hoped that someday the City would not need 2 pools to serve different areas of the city.

With such a short time-frame to get the pools open Bucham said that building maintenance personnel will have to be diverted. Finding personnel to work at the pools will also prove to be a challenge. “They need sufficient staff to operate,” said Burcham. Most of the lifeguards have been hired by the County already.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Finance

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