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Villagomez retiring from H-F parks after 26 years

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board members Tuesday approved a $16 million budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The budget, which was unanimously approved, includes several changes in spending that will help renovate and make improvements to park district facilities. The new fiscal year started on May 1 and will end April 30, 2017.

Howard Blumstein, the park district’s chief fiscal officer, said estimated revenues in the new fiscal year are $13,567,822.

Renae Ross, the park district’s superintendent of finance and administration, outlined changes in the budget, which staffers have been putting together for the last six months.

One significant budget change makes room for a new filtration system at Lions Pool, Ross said. Two weeks ago, Superintendent of Parks Doug Boehm explained that the current filtration system, installed in 1983, is “shot and needs to be replaced.” The new filtration system will cost $186,500. It will be installed at the end of the current pool season.

  Sue Bertram holds a drawing
  she received from the H-F
  Park Board to thank her for
  serving on the board for 
  23 years.
(Photo by Marilyn 
  Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

To finance the filtration system, proposed expenditures for banquet amenities and a patio at Coyote Run and Wiley’s Grill were deleted from the budget. Debbie Kopas, park district executive director, proposed the board save $60,000 by postponing renovations at a pair of playgrounds.

Kopas said the H-F Racquet & Fitness Club ended the fiscal year “on a high end in terms of swimming lessons, membership, and other programs as a result of a new and energetic staff and new procedures.”

In the new fiscal year, racquet club revenues are expected to be $2,490,584, with estimated expenditures at $3,014,592.

The new budget projects estimated expenditures of $975,803 at the H-F Ice Arena and expected revenues of $890,429.

The new budget also calls for resurfacing of the Millennium Roller Skate court, which will cost $13,000. New ramp railings at Irons Oaks Environmental Center will cost approximately $20,000. 

Wiley’s Grill staff members are taking over concessions at Lions Pool and park officials are hopeful that will bring in more revenue.

The budget also indicates that audit fees are going up by $2,500 in the new fiscal year.

In other business Tuesday, the park board approved several requests for funding increases at the Ice Arena.

Shon Washington, the arena manager, won approval for a number of additional funding requests. As a result, the fee for skate sharpening, a popular service that requires upkeep of the sharpening machines, will increase from $7 to $8 per pair of skates.

Fees also will rise in two of five levels of youth hockey because costs increased after those levels switched to a new league, Washington said. Membership in the Dyno-Mite group will increase from $700 to $800, and membership in the Mite group will increase from $1,000 to $1,100.

Skating school fees will increase from $90 to $97 for residents and from $97 to $100 for nonresidents. A freestyle punch card, which is 20 punches per card, will increase from $6 to $6.40 per 30-minute session.

In her report, Kopas said that the 40th annual ice show at the arena is set for May 20 and 21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “Enchanted to Disenchanted.”

The park district also honored former commissioner Sue Bertram, who recently retired from the board. Bertram was a member of the board for 23 years before stepping down in January. The board presented her with a framed drawing of all of the park district facilities. 

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