Parks and Recreation needs $65K from county

Published 7:00 pm Monday, August 13, 2018

The Warren County Board of Supervisors learned during their Monday work session the county parks and recreation department needs $65,000 to meet their obligations for the remaining fiscal year.

According to county administrator John Smith, the parks and recreation department needs $43,000 for their accounts payable for the months of June and July. Smith told the supervisors he met with members of the parks and recreation department Friday and was told the $65,000 “might get them through August and September.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The $65,000 is not budgeted for 2018.

The issue of funding for parks and recreation has been an ongoing problem, primarily from Clear Creek Golf Course, which is owned by the county. Members of parks and recreation have cited declining revenues from golfers and rising costs in upkeep and employee insurance.

In July, members of the parks and recreation department met with the supervisors to discuss funding for the 2019 fiscal year budget and requested an $82,000 increase in their budget.

“If we don’t get it (funding increase), then the golf course has got to go,” Dale McDuff, parks and recreation District 1 board member, told the supervisors at the time.

Earlier this year, golf course fees were increased at the request of the supervisors to bring in more revenue, but McDuff said membership went down approximately 35 percent. He said most of their members are retirees and the increase in fees has caused some to look elsewhere to play golf.

“A lot of people have gone to surrounding courses in Tallulah, Pearl and Raymond,” McDuff said.

Eddie Robertson, a long-time advocate for parks and recreation and avid golfer, met with the supervisors Monday and reiterated the rate increase has forced some golfers to seek courses elsewhere.

Currently, a round of golf for non-members of Clear Creek is $39, while courses in the surrounding area are less than $30 per round.

Robertson said Clear Creek should offer a senior rate for non-members.

“Any course you go to has a rate for seniors,” Robertson told the supervisors.

He also suggested amenities like a place to eat as an incentive to increase out-of-town golfers to use Clear Creek.

The formal request for the $65,000 funds from parks and recreation is expected to be made during Monday’s regular 9 a.m. board meeting on the third floor of the Warren County Court House.