The budget committee unanimously approved a budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year Wednesday night.
Next year’s Willamalane budget is waiting for the board of directors to adopt it.
This year’s budget carries some extra weight. Willamalane committee members say this is a big year. The $20 million bond measure nearly doubles the overall budget.
“The balance is for operations of the district, including all our park maintenance, operating our aquatic facilities, all of our recreation programs. It is the entire package for maintaining and operating the district for the year,” said Bob Keefer, Willamalane Superintendent.
Nearly half of the funds for the $36 million budget will go toward parks and open spaces. The bond measure will specifically go toward projects that include the land acquisition along the Thurston Hills Ridgeline, a boiler replacement at Splash! and new sports fields at the Willamalane Center.
Keefer says the district is in good financial shape, which helps give back to a community that makes nature a top priority.
“What’s unique about Willamalane is that we’re a special purpose district. The citizens of Springfield said it’s important to have a park and recreation system that is as dynamic as we have here in Springfield,” Keefer said.
Committee members say the budget is contributing to future generations.
“It’s a really great opportunity for the park district to steward these natural open spaces. It’s going to really leave a legacy for our children,” said Ronnel Curry, Budget Committee Chair.
She says she’s confident in what Willamalane staff bring to the table.
“The staff does a great job or making sure that our tax dollars are used really wisely and efficiently and also serving all of us. It really enhances the city,” Curry said.
The new budget if adopted by the board of directors will go into effect July 1.