Council reinstates athletic association’s fundingNewport City Council members restored $5,000 in funding to the Newport Athletic Association last week, reinjecting cash that was cut from the 2009 budget late last year in the face of slashed state aid payments.
By: Jon Avise, South Washington County Bulletin
Newport City Council members restored $5,000 in funding to the Newport Athletic Association last week, reinjecting cash that was cut from the 2009 budget late last year in the face of slashed state aid payments.
Council members voted to cut the $11,600 in funding budgeted for the foundering summer rec program, shifting dollars back to the athletic association and placing the remaining $6,600 in the city’s general fund reserve.
It’s a move the five council members agreed on, citing the dwindling number of Newport youths signed up for the summer program held at city parks.
“I think it makes sense to move it over,” councilmember Tom Ingemann said.
Councilmember Pauline Schottmuller broke it down to a matter of simple math: the Newport Athletic Association “benefits a large amount of kids,” she said. “Summer rec does not.”
Last year saw fewer than 30 kids signed up for the summer program that employed three counselors leading kids in various activities at Newport parks.
Newport’s summer recreation program isn’t necessarily dead, though, even with the cancellation of funding. Council members can allot some or all of the $6,600 cut to summer recreation events, though Schottmuller said the program “needs a complete overhaul.”
Schottmuller suggested last week the city could, instead of the expensive summer-long rec program, put on a series of movies in a city park. She said the nighttime events with movies projected onto a large outdoor screen — similar to events held at Cottage Grove’s River Oaks golf course last summer — could be done inexpensively.