Parks and Recreation one of Knightdale’s top revenues

mhankerson@newsobserver.comMay 30, 2014 

— Aside from property taxes, Knightdale’s biggest source of non-tax revenue comes from an unlikely source: its Parks and Recreation Department.

Projections are for $608,900 in revenue next year, a 54 percent increase from the $419,829 the department brought in last fiscal year for the town.

According to figures released in a budget presentation last week, the town has $11,868,089 in its general fund, which is used for most departmental expenses in the town that are not major construction projects.

50 percent of that is from property taxes in town, 18 percent is from sales tax. A little over 5 percent comes from trash collection fees and another 5 percent comes from state revenue from franchise, beer and wine and solid waste disposal taxes.

The voluntary fees paid by residents for parks and recreation programs makes up about another 5 percent in the town’s general fund.

“We didn’t increase (parks and recreation) fees,” said Finance Director Jimmy Overton. “The trips have been really popular ... and (they) pay for themselves.”

The department offers a few overnight and day trips for residents at a discounted group rates. Planned trips range in price from $349 for a three-day trip to Pennsylvania to $3,149 trip for 10 days in Ireland.

In addition to the trips, which tend to have between 20 and 45 people on each one, Parks and Rec Director Tina Cheek said increased rentals and adult programming have helped increase the department’s revenue.

The budget presentation showed that the department was only expecting to make about $1,000 through shelter rentals at Knightdale Station Park.

The department was able to bring in $2,084 from rentals and $3,163 from sponsorships for various attractions at the park, according to the presentation.

Cheek said the town has had to extend sports leagues for more adult teams, there’s been an increase in track-out and afterschool camps and youth sports also saw an increase in participation.

As far as money going out, the town’s proposed budget puts $2,818,482 toward the police department, $1,814,325 toward public works and $1,466,076 toward parks and recreation.

The budget also sets aside $274,287 toward the capital project fund, which pays for projects like Knightdale Station Park.

There would be no tax increase under the proposed budget. The current tax rate of 43 cents per $100 in property valuation means the owner of a $200,000 home in Knightdale would pay $860 in property taxes next year.

The town will hold a public hearing on June 2 at 7 p.m. at Knightdale Town Hall. The final budget will be adopted on June 18, at the regular Town Council meeting.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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