By KEVIN NEVERS
The Parks and Recreation program is arguably one of the best measures of a
community’s quality of life.
The total amount spent on Parks and Recreation by Chesterton, Porter, Burns
Harbor, and Valparaiso is comprised chiefly of the following: daily
operations, funded by a dedicated property-tax rate; and one or more
“non-reverting” funds, usually earmarked for daily operations or capital
outlay and funded with the proceeds from park user fees.
In addition, a municipality may supplement its annual expenditure on Parks
and Recreation with moneys from other sources: its share of the county
economic development income tax (CEDIT); grants; or special equipment funds.
Two municipalities, Chesterton and Valparaiso, also issued bonds for facility
improvements; and one, Porter, is using tax increment financing (TIF)
revenues to finance a trail project.
In 2006 the four municipalities spent the following levied amounts to fund
daily operations for Parks and Recreation:
Chesterton: $326,598; (per capita $26.22)
Add $115,903 from Non-reverting
Operating (per capita $9.31); and $12,000 in CEDIT for part-time salary (per
capita 96 cents) for total daily operations of $454,501 (per capita $36.49)
Porter: $117,145; (per capita $22.05.)
The Chesterton Tribune was unable to
identify a Non-reverting Operating fund.
Burns Harbor: $49,849; (per capita $49.11)
Add $2,311 from Non-reverting
Operating (per capita $2.27) for total daily operations of $52,160 (per
Valparaiso: $2,574,624; (per capita $87.22)
Add $38,474 from Non-reverting
Operating (per capita $1.30); and $400,298 earmarked specifically for daily
operations at Creekside Golf Course (per capita $13.56) for total daily
operations of $3,013,396 (per capita $102.09).
Total and per capita supplemental spending on Parks and Recreation in 2006:
Chesterton: $1,732,819; per capita $139.12. Comprised of $1,589,205 from the
proceeds of a bond for facility improvements (per capita $127.59); $137,605
in CEDIT for softball field lights at Dogwood Park (per capita $11.05); and
$6,009 in CEDIT as a match for a grant from the Department of Natural
Resources for the Westchester-Liberty Trail (per capita 48 cents).
Porter: $28,539; per capita $5.37. The Redevelopment Commission spent that
amount in TIF on the Porter Brickyard Trail.
Burns Harbor: $7,558; per capita $7.45. The Town Council appropriated that
amount from Cumulative Capital Development for a mower.
Valparaiso: $858,993; per capita $29.10. Comprised of $557,792.57 for three
separate bonds (per capita $19.58); $252,914.66 from Non-reverting Capital
(per capita $8.57); $13.271.33 in CEDIT for a truck (per capita 45 cents);
$12,000 from Capital Equipment Fund for a truck (per capita 41 cents); $1,857
in a grant from the PGA (per capita 6 cents); and $1,157 in miscellaneous
spending (per capita 4 cents).
Total Parks Spending
Total and per capita spending on Parks and Recreation in 2006:
Chesterton: total $2,187,320; per capita $175.60.
Porter: total $145,685; per capita $27.42.
Burns Harbor: total $59,719; per capita $58.84.
•Valparaiso: total $3,872,390; per capita $131.20.