March 21, 2024 |

Photo – Hanna Recreation Center – by Matt Copeland Bigfoot99

In the Town of Hanna, officials are looking for ways to cut costs at the town’s recreation center.

On Wednesday, March 20, the governing body held a budget workshop to discuss funding the town’s recreation department for the upcoming fiscal year.

The first thing on the chopping block was the Hanna Recreation Center’s hours of operation. Treasurer Ann Calvert said Mayor Jon Ostling requested that the indoor sports facility reduce the time it is open each week from 58 to 40 hours. Recreation Director Kim Connolly said she’ll keep the building open during the week, but close it on the weekends.

The Hanna Recreation Center will be open from 12:30 to 8:00 pm if the town council approves the scheduling change.

Next up was employee salary. Treasurer Calvert said part-time recreation department workers will not be permitted to work more than 12 hours a week.

Another way to save money at the recreation center is to limit the number of activities offered by the town. Rec Director Connolly said she’ll continue to host Halloween and Christmas events. Mayor Ostling said all other activities must be eliminated.

The town’s recreation department will continue to offer sports activities to residents.

Last summer, a failed pump motor forced the town to close the pool in the rec center. Documents show that with the pool closed, the town saved roughly $20,000 on its heating bill.

The pool is not expected to reopen. No pool means the town doesn’t need to buy chemicals or train lifeguards, saving yet more money for the beleaguered recreation center.  Town Clerk Vivian Gonzales said last year’s Wyoming Community Gas grant was earmarked for new pool stairs. Clerk Gonzales said the stairs would have cost several thousand dollars.

Every year, Wyoming Community Gas distributes a portion of its profits to participating municipalities. The money is to be used for projects that benefit the community. Clerk Gonzales said instead of pool stairs, the gas grant could help pay to refurbish the pavilions at Veteran’s Park.

The preliminary budget presented during Wednesday’s workshop has $97,835 set aside to fund the rec department. However, the number includes grants and impact assistance money. The town’s contribution will be lower.

The fate of the town’s recreation center will be discussed at a public forum on April 9th at 6:00 pm in the Hanna town hall, located at 301 Adams Street. Following the public forum, the budget will receive a first reading during the regular town council meeting, which begins at 6:30 pm.

Per Wyoming law, municipal budgets must be read three times before being submitted to the state. Budgets must be completed by June 15th.

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