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Funding for Schuler Park mulled

FLUSHING — Village officials last Thursday discussed options for funding the operation of Schuler Park after learning that park levy funds had decreased again.

The subject came up during budget discussions held during the first full council meeting of the year held on Jan. 9 when Fiscal Officer Jeryl McGaffick described the park operating fund for 2020 as “skin and bones.”

McGaffick cited a number of factors for the situation saying that the money coming to the village from their 1 mil tax levy was decreasing yearly while expenses associated with park operations like labor and gasoline increased year after year.

She said that the roughly $8,000 brought in by the levy this year would be enough to cover salaries and utilities, but no operating supplies at all, adding that a park operating supply fund that was set aside several years ago from gas and oil money taken in by the village and ear marked for the park was down to $28,492.

She suggested the formation of a park district as a means to bring in more money for the park and pointed out that while the park facilities were used extensively by the library, the ball team, the alumni association and other groups who get to do so for free, there was only one paid rental in all of 2019, adding “We need to get some advertising out there so people know that it is available.”

Council President John Jozwiak acknowledged that they had discussed the park district possibility a number of times, asserting, “We should start getting serious about it.”

Councilwoman Sandy Twarog brought up the possibility of increasing the park levy to generate more money for the park, with McGaffick replying that that would mean asking voters to pass a levy to replace the current one.

Mrs. Twarog pointed out that a new “Welcome to Flushing” sign was now located by the entrance to Schuler Park which was constructed by Dan Lipperman using stone and brick from the old Flushing School.

Twarog said Lipperman asked for no money from the village to build the new sign and Village Administrator Bryan Clark said he and Lipperman were looking at a piece of village owned ground on the east end of the village as a possible site for another sign.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, council agreed to allow the $1 per month increases to both water and sewer charges to be implemented, which according to Mayor Vincenzo will make the new basic monthly bill $67.

Village Administrator Clark explained in his monthly report that they would be taking on some major sewer projects this year, while continuing to upgrade the village’s “in house” testing capabilities at the sewer plant and purchasing new meters for the plant.

McGaffick pointed out that a pair of long term water and sewer infrastructure loans would be coming off the village books 2021 and 2022.

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