Rec, airport budgets discussed

Swimmers at the aquatic center in Fort Dodge will likely find that not all of the site’s slides will be open in the evenings this summer.

The proposed 2013-2014 budget for operating the site calls for closing down some of its amenities at 5:30 p.m. in a move that will save money by reducing the number of lifeguards on duty, according to Lori Branderhorst, the city’s director of parks, recreation and forestry.

Even with that change, the budget envisions the center requiring $19,500 in tax money to balance its $334,100 budget.

Fort Dodge City Council members were briefed on the recreation spending plans Monday as they continued their review of the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. State law requires cities to have their budgets done by mid-March.

The elected officials also reviewed the spending plan for the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, which will require less property tax money thanks to increased revenue generated there.

The airport budget also provides for a roughly $1 million renovation of the terminal.

Parks and recreation

Total spending on parks and recreation is set at $1,509,865.

The budget anticipates that various recreation fees will generate a little over $1 million.

That means $456,725 worth of tax money will be needed to run the recreation programs and facilities.

The total budget includes these major categories:

  • Lakeside Municipal Golf Course: $441,200
  • Aquatic center: $334,100
  • Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex: $332,600
  • Parks: $178,400
  • General recreation: $89,900
  • Citizens Central (senior citizens center): $84,150
  • Oakland Cemetery: $23,875
  • Oleson Park Splash Pad: $20,640

The full name of the aquatic center is Rosedale Rapids/Fort Dodge Aquatic Center/Schmoker Family Park. Its proposed budget generated the most discussion.

Branderhorst said closing some of the center’s features at 5:30 p.m. will enable a reduction in the number of on-duty lifeguards from 24 to 18.

She said the budget calls for keeping the center open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

It will be open from 6 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. daily for the adult fitness sessions. The open swimming period will be from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Branderhorst said the center will also be open at night during the week the girls state softball tournament is being played at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex.


The proposed airport budget is $568,150, according to Rhonda Chambers, the director of aviation.

She said $181,850 in tax money will be required to balance the budget, but added that figure is down $14,716 from the current budget.

Growth in airport revenue means less tax money will be needed to operate it. The growth in revenue is generated in part by leasing the large corporate hangar to Great Lakes Airlines. Chambers said more landing fee revenue is being collected and the cash rent for 417 acres of farm ground owned by the airport has been increased.

Chambers said 68 percent of the budget is funded with revenue generated at the airport.

The terminal renovation job will yield a new security check point, waiting area and baggage claim.