Marlboro Recreation Department to Become Township Utility
The department will be subject to an annual, line-item audit.
In an attempt to create a self-sustaining program, township officials are looking to make the Marlboro Recreation Department a township utility.
The department would combine with the Swim Utility, which is currently operating at a profit, and be subject to a line-item audit annually.
"We've taken a critical look at each of the operations since we've taken office," said Mayor Jon Hornik. "The new economy doesn't match up with our current recreation operations."
Currently, the Recreation Department operates at a $2.6 million budget, with $1.9 million in revenue. Hornik said taxpayers are contributing $700,000 annually to subsidize the department.
Operating as a utility, the Recreation Department will have an independent auditor come in annually to look at each program, determining what works financially and what does not.
"I believe if only a few people use something, they should pay the cost," Hornik said.
If passed through council, the department would become a utility in 2013, a move Hornik said he realizes won't bring in a profit overnight. However, Hornik said right now the Recreation Department has little information as to which programs make financial sense and which don't. An annual line-item audit would force recreation to look at each program individually, rather than one balance sheet for the department.
"The goal is to make the department stand on its own eventually," he said. "Right now we are living beyond our means."
The township will subsidize recreation for a short time after it becomes a utility, but eventually it will be sustained by user fees. Marlboro will continue to subsidize senior programs.
"The size and scope of the town mandates that we change the operations, bottom line," Hornik said.