LAKEWOOD - The Lakewood Village Board would like to know what will be done with the Busti-Lakewood Recreation Center's $100,000 surplus.
Village officials say the money, some of which comes from money the village has given to the center in previous years' budgets, should be used for programs.
On the other hand, Diana Peterson, recreation center director, said the decision on what to do with the surplus is up to Jesse Robbins, Busti town supervisor, and the Busti Town Board. As far as she knows, the money could be used to either renovate the recreation center building or go toward the purchase of a new building.
The Busti-Lakewood Recreation Center is pictured above.
''This is a very old building. It is not going to make it much longer. It needs to be repaired,'' she said.
''When it was painted this summer, the painter said it had been about 12 years since the last time it was painted. He said it will be lucky to get another 12 years. The exterior is deteriorating because it is tin. Anyone we talk to doesn't have a solution on how to fix it.''
Peterson said in either 2007 or 2008, an engineer looked over the building's structure. The engineer said the foundation of the building is very dependable.
''The engineer said the foundation is better than most poured today,'' she said. ''He made it sound like it was worth putting money into the building.''
Peterson said the surplus would not go toward day-to-day maintenance of the building. If money from the surplus was used it would only go toward maintaining or upgrading the building because of its age. Construction of the building started in 1940.
''We have talked about different locations and different buildings. It has been discussed by the town,'' she said.
$100,000 RECREATION CENTER SURPLUS CREATION
The surplus has been created through the years by revenues being greater than operating expenses. For example, the recreation center generated more than $57,000 in revenues in 2011, but only spent around $45,000.
Until the 2012 recreation center budget, town and village officials both had provided $15,000 for the budget for several years. In 2011, Lakewood officials reduced its 2012 funding to $7,500 because of the large surplus, thought to be around $80,000 at the time. On Nov. 26, the Village Board decided to not provide any funding for the recreation center in 2013 until they are told what will be done with the surplus, which is more than $108,000, according to the state Comptroller's Office.
Peterson said the surplus was created because it is hard to know how much revenue the recreation center will generate from rentals and events.
''If you have a bad year that can fluctuate how much money you make. You can't rely just on rental or event money. I don't think you can rely on that money alone,'' she said. ''My objective is to make enough money from programs to have them run themselves. I don't charge to make a profit. I want to keep it affordable.''
Peterson said the Busti Town Board and herself will have to ''crunch the numbers'' to see if fees will have to increase at the rec center with less revenues for 2013.
''A lot of rates have not changed in years. I've been here 10 years and the rates have stayed the same,'' she said. ''I will sit down with the Town Board and we will have to discuss it. It is not my decision to make. It is up to the town.''
RECREATION CENTER BUDGET, BOOKKEEPING
Peterson, as the recreation director, creates a budget each year. The budget is then given to the supervisor to be included in the overall town budget. Peterson said she doesn't know if the Town Board separately approves the recreation center budget or if it is approved when they pass the overall town budget. After the town reviews the rec center's budget, a copy is supposed to be given to Lakewood officials.
Peterson said the recreation center's books are audited each year when all of the town's financial records are examined. As far as an annual or monthly report, Peterson said she hasn't ever been instructed to create one.
''Since Jesse (Robbins) has come on (as supervisor), different departments, two or three times a year, update him on how it is going. Outside of that, unless there is an issue, I've never been told to give a yearly or monthly report,'' she said.