The board approved a group of expenditures totaling $23,400 by a 4-1 vote at the regular meeting Wednesday, Oct. 9. Director Steven Gutierrez voted in opposition.
After the meeting, Gutierrez said he voted against spending the money because it was being requested outside the board’s normal budget cycle.
Operations and Maintenance Director Harpal Singh told the directors during their monthly meeting that improvements and repairs were needed to fix normal wear and tear and clean up vandalism at the two parks.
The items approved for funding were: staining the Central Community Park fountain for $10,000; renovating the turf around the fountain for $3,000; installing a hot-water tank for the park restrooms for $8,000; and adding baby-changing tables in the men’s room at both parks for $2,400.
General Manager Janice McClintock informed the board that two of the items — the hot-water tank and the baby-changing tables — were ordered by the San Joaquin County Health Department.
Director Celeste Farron said the repainting of the fountain was “long overdue.” She said the park was completed six years ago and the fountain had probably needed repainting for four or five years.
McClintock reminded the board that any work on the park fountain had to be performed during the winter while the fountain was shut off.
Gutierrez asked if any of the expenditure requests were part of the $641,000 budget slated for community parks in 2013-14 fiscal year, and Singh told him no.
Singh said the only one of the items that was in the parks budget was $6,000 to install a drainage bowl in Central Community Park. He said all the other requests were new.
During the meeting, Singh also asked the board to spend $7,500 to move the drinking fountain at Central Community Park to the other side of the park and $10,000 to rubberize the playground surface.
Director Andy Su suggested that the board consider removing the park’s sandbox instead of moving the fountain. He said children wash off sand in the fountain, causing damage to it, and suggested that it would be more fiscally sound to take out the sandbox.
Before the board could vote on the sandbox matter, Su suggested placing the issue on the agenda for a future board meeting to allow residents to comment.
The board tabled both additional funding requests until the Nov. 13 meeting.
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