Rye Town Park Sees Most Profitable Year In Decades

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Rye Town Park saw its most profitable year in more than 20 years, as it moves closer to outsourcing management to an outside agency. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo

RYE, N.Y. -- In 2012 Rye Town Park saw its best fiscal performance in more than two decades.

"We are showing the first excess of revenues over expenditures, or net operating surplus, in anybody's memory. We went back 20 years and we couldn't see anything like that," said Bishop Nowotnik, secretary for the Town of Rye.

The surplus of $1,326 was a small amount, Nowotnik said, but "a pleasant surprise." The park had budgeted about 893,000 in revenues and actually came about 24,000 short. But the park also spent more than $25,000 less than it had originally budgeted for.

Nowotnik said that there are still a couple of challenges that will present themselves next year. Many employees of the park only make $8 an hour, though there are discussions of raising the state minimum wage to $8.50.

"That could have an impact on our ability to be profitable," he said. Nowotnik said that officials are also trying to figure out what impact the Affordable Care Act could have on expenses, if any. The park hires between 70 and 90 people throughout the course of the season, and even though they're all part-time employees, they may be equivalent to 50 full-time members. "We're trying to do those calculations now."

The Rye Town Park Commission is still in the process of pursuing an outside agency to come in and take over the management of the park. The commission has hired BFJ Planning to solicit bids from private organizations. Nowotnik said that representatives from BFJ recently toured the park's facilities as part of their process of creating a request for proposals.

On the capital fund side, Rye Town Park did see some deficits due to Hurricane Sandy. FEMA reimbursed  around $37,000, Nowotnik said, but the town ended up spending around $65,000. Of that deficit, the town will end up paying around $17,000 and the City of Rye will pay $11,000. Officials are also working to repair the Dearborn sea wall that was damaged in the storm. The total cost of that project will be about $600,000 to be split between the town and city, but Nowotnik said most of that will be reimbursed by FEMA.

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