Parks board discusses tax to fund part-time help

To help the parks with a long list of maintenance and mowing the Winamac Parks and Recreation Board discussed how to fund a part-time employee. 
At a regular meeting on Sept. 6, parks board president Courtney Poor asked how the board could go about implementing a park tax. He would like to use the tax for additional help. 
Poor said he understands that other departments help at times but steady help is needed. He used the example of one person trying to mow and landscape 38 acres. Some of the complaints that Poor has heard is because someone thinks an area hasn’t been weeded.  
Boardwoman Pat Bawcum asked what has changed at the parks that another person is needed. 
Poor said the “sheer volume of use of the park.” He used the example of the amount of trash and the mowing. He said the current budget will not support another employee so he wants to hear from the town council as to how they think the situation should be handled. 
Bawcum said she will not support a tax increase.  
Boardman Jon Chapman also agreed that he doesn’t want a new tax but instead suggested that park manager Dave DeLorenzo could better coordinate with the town department for additional help. Chapman used the example of the leaf vaccum at the parks.
Poor said he doesn’t want to make any decisions until all board members are present. Boardman Chris Schramm was absent from the meeting.
Later in the meeting, Berger asked if the board would consider contracting the mowing to help DeLorenzo. Chapman said he thought about it. 
DeLorenzo said he was only thinking of needing a person one or two days a week and as the work slows then help wouldn’t be needed. He said the town will not find someone to mow the grass for less than $10 an hour and that’s what the town could be paying someone to help him. 
Chapman would like to compare the prices of contracting or using a part-time person for a limited period of time. 
Poor said he would like to revisit this in the next couple meetings. 

See the full story in the Pulaski County Journal, available in print and e-edition.

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