Governor recommends cutting Parks and Rec budget by 5 percent
Published: August 10, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Sports, Parks and Recreation Department may receive less than $6 million from the territory's General Fund for its Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
During the budget hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, the governor's recommended appropriation is a 5 percent decrease from the current fiscal year's Sports, Parks and Recreation budget, which was slightly less than $6.3 million.
"It has been our hope that the territory's economic crisis would somehow improve for Fiscal Year 2014, but we have to be realistic," said St. Claire N. Williams, the department's commissioner. The department has decreased by about 40 employees during the last three fiscal years because of budget cuts, according to Williams.
In addition to the appropriation from the General Fund, the department also would receive more than $860,000 in local funds, $50,000 in federal funds and slightly more than $1.9 million from the Miscellaneous section of the executive budget.
The department is organized into three divisions: the division of parks, open spaces and beautification; the division of sports and recreation; and the office of the commissioner.
The department would use the appropriated funds to cover costs, which would include about $4.84 million in personnel services and fringe benefits and $1.14 million in operating expenses, according to Williams. The operating expenses include expenses for supplies, other services and charges and utilities.
"As we have demonstrated in the past six years, we are prepared to be creative and continue to work within the financial framework that is available to us," Williams said during his Senate testimony.
Lt. Governor's Office
On Friday, the lieutenant governor's office had its budget hearing.
The governor proposed a nearly $6.5 million budget, with no changes to its allocation from the General Fund during the upcoming fiscal year.
The office also would receive $7.5 million from local funding, nearly $40,000 in federal funding and $200,000 in funding from the territory's Miscellaneous section of the budget.
Despite the lack of variation in the General Fund appropriations between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, the spending would be slightly different, with certain services costing slightly less or more than they did during the current fiscal year.
For instance, personnel services would cost about $171,000 less than they did this year, and supplies would cost about $99,000 more. Utilities would cost about $282,000 more and other services about $204,000 less.
The Office of the Lt. Governor regulates and monitors the activities of the territory's banks, insurance companies and financial institutions.
The office also operates the Division of Real Property Tax, the Division of Banking and Insurance, the Division of Alternative Markets and International Reinsurance, the Division of Corporations and Trademarks, the V.I. Passport Acceptance Facility, the Division of Business and Financial Management, the Division of Management Information Systems, and the V.I. SHIP/Medicare Sub-division.
- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.