Corinth parks director requests significant budget increase

HOLLOWAY

HOLLOWAY

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – The new parks director presented a budget for Corinth parks operations to the county and city boards this week with a higher bottom line based on a planned park expansion, additional staffing and new programs.

The budget for the 2015 fiscal year presented by Parks and Recreation Director Ray Holloway is $904,277, which includes seven employees, department operations, supplies and capital equipment to operate the Crossroads Regional Park on Parkway and the E.S. Bishop Park on John Street.

The parks are supported by ad valorem tax revenues of 2 mills in the city and 1.6 mills in the county, which has brought in about $445,000 per year in recent years.

Holloway told Alcorn County supervisors and Corinth city aldermen during his budget presentations that the expanded park and programs will require increased management and upkeep. Crossroads Regional Park is jointly owned by the city and county.

The budget request includes hiring five new park employees to replace contract positions and also includes funds to replace several pieces of equipment and a vehicle.

The budget request was taken under advisement by both boards. Supervisors are set to finalize the county budget after a 9 a.m. Sept. 15 public hearing. Corinth plans a second budget work session for 10 a.m. Aug. 28. State law requires that budgets be finalized by Sept. 15.

In late 2012, when discussions began about expanding Crossroads Regional Park, both the county and city boards agreed they would allocate about $175,000 – $112,500 from the county and $63,000 from the city – to the parks budget for ongoing operations and maintenance that was previously allocated for Crossroads Arena operations.

For the past two fiscal years the Crossroads Arena has received $250,000 and $200,000, respectively, from the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for operations.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com