Account for a change: Rec Board to use new financial procedure

A procedural change sits on the horizon for the Wapakoneta City Recreation Board in regard to approving expenditures in 2012.
Safety-Service Director Bill Rains explained expenses approved by Wapakoneta City Recreation Board members for projects and services for the city’s park system must be OK’d by the city auditor first to ensure money is in the fund. The city would then issue a check.
“The city auditor is just going to confirm there is enough money for expenditure to be made from that line item in the budget,” Rains said during Monday’s Wapakoneta City Recreation Board meeting. “She does not have any veto power over
an expenditure — she will just not approve the purchase order being cut if there are insufficient funds in the account.”
An issue arose this fall when City Auditor Gail Walter requested $7,000 be transferred from the Wapakoneta WaterPark fund to the Wapakoneta City Recreation Fund for maintenance and equipment for bills expected to
be paid by the end of the year because of insufficient funds in the account. The request was made and approved during the Nov. 21 Wapakoneta City Council meeting.
If this is the procedure, board member Robin LaFountain said it is crucial for board members to receive up-to-date income and expense reports from the city auditor so Recreation Board members can make informed decisions regarding approving money be spent on an unplanned or unappropriated project or a service.
Board member Dave Webb said board members “may need to be a little more conservative when they consider new expenses in the future.”
Rains told board members expenses approved this year, such as for the adult volleyball program, which have not previously been part of the budget have been incorporated in it for 2012.
The safety-service director also explained more details are being incorporated into the computer spreadsheet used in creating each of the city department’s budget.
“We are trying to put in a drop-down window on each cell as much information as we can explaining what projects are coming up or where that money is going to be spent,” Rains said. “We are doing that as much for the individual department head, or in your case for (Recreation Director) Jack Hayzlett and this board, as we are for city council’s Finance Committee so they can call up that information when they want to know what expenses comprise that line item — whether it is a special project or a capital improvement project.”
With Hayzlett absent, Rains updated members on the 2012 budget process.
“He (Jack) discussed the projects he would like to see go forward realizing there is more debt to be paid from the fund for the next couple of years,” Rains said referring to the purchase by the city from Wapakoneta City Schools of ground at Harmon Park and the former Centennial Elementary School. “With that in mind, we would like to apply for a Ohio Department of Natural Resources Nature Works grant to install restrooms in an existing building at Harmon Park.”
He noted they would seek new bids on the project if the grant is approved.