Park District reaches settlement regarding Nelson Knitting property, budget cuts presented
Online Staff Report
The recent legal dispute between John Cook and the Rockford Park District, which resulted in the Rockford Park District being sued, has been settled out of court.
The primary purpose of the out-of-court settlement was to avoid considerable additional costs associated with continued litigation.
The significant results of the agreement are as follow:
1. Rockford Park District agrees to pay John Cook $225,000 to end the dispute;
2. John Cook maintains ownership of the Nelson Knitting property; and
3. Rockford Park District is released from all claims and responsibilities regarding the Nelson Knitting property.
The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners approved the settlement at the Nov. 27 board meeting, and authorized Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke to execute the necessary documents to conclude the John R. Cook III claim.
Park District looks to eliminate more than $2 million in 2013 budget
At the Nov. 13 meeting, the Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners received a preliminary summary of the 2013 proposed budget.
The 2013 summary provided the board with a global overview of the budget, which reflects the direction provided during their fall planning process.
Nov. 27, the board received another update showing progress made by district staff to cut more than $2 million in the 2013 budget, and eliminate seven full-time positions.
The board also directed district staff to explore capturing some CPI (Consumer Price Index) dollars.
The Park District budget has been impacted because of economic conditions, unwillingness to raise fees given citizen’s ability to pay more, local and state tax revenue declines, and increasing costs of doing business.
Since the 2008 recession, the Park District has made midyear budget adjustments or annual budget reductions, and will again look at reducing administrative costs, reducing or eliminating programs, and adjusting program/facility schedules, which will help ensure the district ends the year with a balanced budget.
“The Rockford Park District will continue to be good stewards of public funds, and is committed to delivering a high-quality park and recreation system at a reasonable cost to residents and non-residents,” Dimke said. “At this point, every department has been asked to run more efficiently and to stretch resources. Staff is taking a look at adjusting program schedules and facility hours based on participation and attendance.”
The 2013 budget will be presented to the Board of Commissioners at the Dec. 11 Board of Commissioners meeting.
Posted Nov. 28, 2012
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