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 Park Board Wants to Control Park’s Finances

September 19, 2007 - Members of the Knightstown Department of Parks and Recreation Board are hoping to find a way to gain more control over park finances.

At a board meeting last Wednesday, Vice President Bruce Brown told other members that he had inquired about getting a credit or debit card for the park pool, which he manages. He said Linda Glenn, the town's utility bookkeeper and assistant town hall manager, told him that could not be done.

Throughout the summer, Brown said he would purchase concession items at the Dollar General Store, then mark up the prices and sell them at the pool. He said he was not happy with delays in getting reimbursed for what he spent.

"It's getting to be where I'm financing it and they're taking their good time in paying it back," said Brown. He said he recently asked to be reimbursed for park purchases made at Wal-Mart, but was told he would have to wait until the council approved claims at their next meeting, which is scheduled for tonight.

Board member Steve Nelson, who is on the town council, said he spoke with Clerk-Treasurer Judy Haines about this issue. He said Haines told him that the town's petty cash cannot be used to reimburse Brown for these purchases. Saying he thought the park board should be able to handle its own finances without having to have the town council approve everything, Nelson said he would talk to Haines to see if there's anyway the park board can get its own charge card or account.

Board President Mac O'Connor said he thought the problem is that Haines can only reimburse Brown or pay other park bills once the town council has approved the claims. If the park is not going to have control over its own funds, he said Haines should have permission to approve park expenditures without waiting for the council's OK. He said Haines would be welcome to attend the park board's next meeting to discuss these financial issues.

Nelson provided board members with a financial report Haines had recently given him. According to the report, the park's balance at the end of July was $12,867.64.

In other business, Nelson advised the board that he had spoken with Mel Matlock, the town's works manager, about the fact that trimming had not been done the last time the park was mowed. Because the park relies on rental of the shelter house for revenue, Nelson said he felt it's important for the area around the building to look good.

Nelson also advised the board that someone offered to transport county prisoners to the park to work if the town could provide supervision. He said one project the prisoners might work on would be the painting of the pool house, which O'Connor agreed was a good idea.

Brown advised the board that Scotty Halcomb Welding was willing to complete work on a piece of children's park equipment, but he said he didn't know what the cost would be. While O'Connor said he thought Brown should get an estimate before the work is done, and Nelson added that he thought Brown should get at least one other estimate, Brown was ultimately told to go ahead and have Halcomb do the job.

In response to complaints about trash around the lake, Brown said he and a couple of girls spent an afternoon cleaning up the area. O'Connor told Brown that the park board appreciates all he does for the park.

Brown also commended the town's new police chief for stepping up patrols through the park. "I'm glad Danny Baker's in charge because there's been a very positive police presence in the park," he said.


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