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Preliminary Look at 2013 Marlboro Recreation Budget

The Township Council met with department heads on Feb. 12 to discuss specifics of 2013 budget proposals.

The Marlboro Recreation Department, now combined with the Swim Club as a township utility, is looking forward to a year of acclimating to online registration and maximizing current programs for Marlboro residents.

As a utility in conjunction with the Swim Club, Recreation Department programs are supported by user and membership fees.

"The idea is that fees raised will support the actual cost of running these programs," Business Administration Jon Capp said.

If enrollment decreases in programs, spending will decreased proportionately, according to Capp.

"I believe if only a few people use something, they should pay the cost," Mayor Jon Hornik told Patch in May.

The Recreation and Swim budget is split into two parts, between the utility costs and programs supported by fees.

Within the budget supported by taxes are expenses such as senior citizen programs, public celebrations such as Marlboro Day, Veterans and First Responders benefits and administrative fees.

The budget includes $40,000 for veteran and first responder benefits including discounting program costs for those who qualify.

Programs, such as Recreation sports and summer camp, are paid for through user fees, which cover expenses such as employment fees.

Recreation Department Director Ted Ernst said as a function of becoming a utility, the department is now tracking performance of individual programs, allowing the administration to make individual budget decisions.

"We know if some program is not performing we can't continue it," Hornik said in the budget meeting. "Or, we can continue it, but we need to raise user fees."

Plans to bring the Aquatic Center into profit this year are being explored. The center's sustainability was questioned last year by Councilwoman Carol Mazzola, and again ag February's budget meeting.

Ernst said while the center is used for 6 weeks out of the summer for recreation camp, he is exploring ways to generate revenue when camp is out of session. Ernst said renting the center for private parties is one idea on the table.

The Recreation budget is not finalized, and a specific bottom-line number were not discussed in the budget meeting. The Feb. 12 meeting was meant to educate the public about the budget process and allow the Township Council to ask questions of each department head in Marlboro.

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