West Shore Recreation Commission

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www.westshorerec.org
 


IMPORTANT MESSAGE

Attention Residents:
The economy has presented many challenges to local government services of late. Currently, the West Shore School District is facing a budget shortfall, which has resulted in the School District’s decision to charge fees to the Recreation Commission for use of school facilities, specifically for activities designed for adult participants. The School District has also provided notice of its intent to withdraw from the inter-governmental agreement that forms the Recreation Commission at the conclusion of 2012.

The Recreation Commission’s Board of Representatives is unequivocally against this newly instated practice of restricting use of public facilities to taxpayers. Unfortunately, we have no alternative in the short-term other than to pass the facility fee costs on to participants in adult programs. You will notice the additional cost of the School District’s new fee schedule.

We realize this added cost burden may put the activity out of range for many residents. Insuring that quality, public recreation activities are affordable and available for all persons is necessary for a healthy community. If you agree, we ask that you join in conveying this message to the West Shore School District and ask them to eliminate the facility fees for the Recreation Commission. Please see the information below for your reference.
 

December 29, 2011
 
Questions and Answers:

What is the WSSD facility fee?
How was the WSSD facility fee calculated for each activity?
Why are only adult activities charged?
What are you doing if any extra money is generated from the facility fee?
Why didn’t you find alternate locations such as churches and private schools?
How will this affect the future of my activity?
How will this impact the West Shore Rec Commission?
How were the facility fees calculated?
What can I do to express my opinion?
 

Additional Information on West Shore Recreation Commission and the effect of the facility fee.

 

What is the WSSD facility fee?
The West Shore School District updated its Board Policy #707 – Use of School Facilities in May 2011 and established a fee schedule for the use of school facilities based on four categories.  West Shore Recreation Commission was placed in Category C.  Based on the Intergovernmental Agreement of Cooperation and the prior facility policy where West Shore Rec activities received second priority after School District activities, the Recreation Commission believes it should have been included in Category B. 

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How it was calculated by WSRC for each activity:  The total facility fee was divided it by the minimum number of participants needed to conduct the activity.  In many cases, the minimum number needed was increased in order to reduce the amount per person.  (This means more people are needed to conduct the activity).  Although dates and times for school facilities had already been requested, the session lengths were altered slightly to minimize the impact wherever possible (due to the uneven application of fees in the "multi-occasion events"). WSSD Facility Fee Schedule 
 

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Why are only adult activities charged?
This is who the School District targeted.  The fee becomes a direct cost associated with a specific activity.  West Shore Rec Commission’s member municipalities have determined that users will pay for all direct costs and a portion of the overhead costs.     
 

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What are you doing if any extra money is generated from the facility fee?
There is much uncertainty as to the amount to be collected and expended.  This is uncharted territory.  Should there be any excess over what is due to the WSSD, it would be used to offset the decrease in revenue generated due to the cancellation of other activities that will not receive sufficient enrollment as a result of the WSSD facility fee. 

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Why didn’t you find alternate locations such as churches and private schools?
Simply stated: timing.  The WSSD facility fee was presented to WSRC in late November.  There was little time to explore other facility options.  WSRC was also hopeful that WSSD would be open to discussing a possible decrease in financial support in order to keep the facility use free for the taxpayers.  Please see the Open Letter to WSSD Board Members.

West Shore Rec has explored other facility options over the years; you will notice some activities do take place at non-public facilities.  Almost all private facilities do charge a fee and usually have limited availability. There are also extra concerns with the insurance coverage of private facilities.  In the end, it is the Rec Commission’s position that the public facilities should be available to their residents, when not being used by the school students, through the structure of a public recreation agency.

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How will this affect the future of my activity?
That depends on the WSSD.

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How will this impact the West Shore Rec Commission?
Severely.  WSRC ‘s budget model calls for approximately 70% of its funding to come from participant fees.  A reduction in adult participation and the accompanying revenue is anticipated as a consequence to the facility fee.  Possible implications:
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The municipalities that have formed the commission may need to provide greater funding.
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The scope of services may be altered.  Instead of serving all ages and abilities, the Commission may be hampered in providing a full range of activities.

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How were the facility fees calculated by WSSD?
It is unclear.  Unfortunately, they are not evenly assessed.  An example:  A 45- minute Pilates class is assessed the same fee as a two-hour basketball program. As well, while a 1-night activity in a classroom costs $30, the cost of a 2-night class more than triples at $100.   

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What can I do to express my opinion?
Taxpayers have the right to communicate with their elected representative and the school administration. However, please be aware that, based on information presented at one of the school board meetings, it is uncertain that board members read e-mail communication.

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Please see the article printed in The Patriot-News on 10/28/11 for the latest information on the West Shore School District's position on public recreation services.

 

 

October 28, 2011

 

 


Dear West Shore School District Resident:

We’re contacting you to make you aware of an important vote occurring at the Thursday, October 20th School Board meeting. As you may recall from prior communication the School District was considering facility fees for use of our programs. Based upon the outcome of last Thursday’s School Board study session, the School District is now also considering eliminating its contribution to provide recreational services to all residents of our community.

As a past participant of our activities, we’re hoping you value public recreation in your community. West Shore Rec Commission provides adults with access to use the public facilities they fund through tax dollars. It’s an important way your tax dollars work for you.

We’re asking that you contact the members of the School Board to voice your opposition to this vote. Please review the letter sent to the School Board members earlier today (below) and read any of the information as it might pertain to you.

Thank you for your interest and action. Feel free to use the following facts and information to assist you in presenting the case for the continuation of West Shore Recreation Commission. Time is of the essence.

 

 

October 18, 2011

   


Please click on these links for more information
 

 
  An Open Letter to the West Shore School District Board of Directors

West Shore School District Board of Directors - e-mail contacts (as copied from the WSSD website)

Important Points to Consider

Overview of West Shore Rec - slide presentation to West Shore School District Board of Directors on 8/11/11

West Shore Rec Commission
   -  Formation and Intergovernmental Structure
   -  Funding
   -  Who We Serve
- breakdown by age, residency
 


 


 

 
 
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER

·        ·         West Shore Recreation Commission, as a partner with the School District, could be utilized to fill in the gaps for some of the programs that the School District recently eliminated due to budget constraints.  Consumer science classes, environmental education activities and intramural-type sports programs could be offered for a variety of ages at a nominal fee, as long as facilities are available to do so.

 ·      ·         Taxpayers have funded the public facilities and merit supervised access, when not being used by the school system, for the good of the community.  The Commission was created to be the central coordinator of the community use of School District facilities.

 ·         Over the years, the amount of tax appropriation has been reduced from 100% in 1968 to approximately 30% of the overall cost of the services today.  Furthermore, the West Shore School District’s original share contribution of $23,000 in 1968, which was 41% of the contributions, has decreased to 25% of total tax support. 

 ·         At no time was the Commission designed to become self-supporting.  If that were to happen, the Commission would cease to be a public provider of community services and instead become a private entity.  The Commission offers public recreation services for all citizens.  Over the years, at the request of elected officials, the Commission has reduced the percentage of tax support and increased the percentage of revenue from participation fees.  In general, West Shore Recreation Commission's program fees are much higher than neighboring recreation departments that receive more tax support.

 ·         The Commission already saves the municipal partners money and reduces duplication. By joining together, the breadth of services does equal far more than the sum of the parts.  The services promote physical, mental and social well-being in individuals and a sense of community.  They benefit citizens of all ages and abilities and should be available to persons of all economic levels.  The regional approach does provide the greatest “bang for the buck.”  Compared with other Commissions in Pennsylvania, West Shore Recreation Commission’s ratio of tax support to the population served is already a low amount.

  ·         The School District’s contribution is 6.7% of the Commission’s proposed 2012 budget of $610,885 (was 7.5% in 2011).  The $40,858 contribution is .04% of the School District’s $94,289,484 budget.
 

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WHO WE SERVE    

A Wide Span of Ages (click chart to enlarge)

More Adults than Children (click chart to enlarge)

Percentage of Residents (click chart to enlarge)

By Municipality  (click chart to enlarge)

Note:  all of the above snapshots can be found in the Overview of West Shore Rec slides

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FUNDING

Current Funding Sources and Levels  (click charts to enlarge)
  

History on the creation and funding of West Shore Recreation Commission:
·         The Commission was created in 1968 by the West Shore School District and six of the municipalities located within its boundaries.  “Whereas, it is believed by all parties hereto that the citizens of their respective municipalities will be benefited by a recreation program jointly administered…”
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         The parties agreed to appropriate in their budgets a sum of money each year for the Commission’s operation “adequate to fully pay for all costs and expenses.”
·         Recreation activities were to be conducted in public facilities.  “Property, equipment, and buildings of the West Shore School District (and participating municipalities) shall be available for the use of the Board of Recreation, when there is no conflict with regular school activities (and the uses of such municipalities).

The cost of the providing public recreation services has always been shared between the partners of the agreement.  Over the years, the amount of tax appropriation has been reduced from 100% in 1968 to approximately 30% of the overall cost of the services today.  Furthermore, the West Shore School District’s original share contribution of $23,000 in 1968, which was 41% of the contributions, has decreased to 25% of total tax support. 

Summary:  West Shore Recreation Commission has been established to provide public recreation services for taxpayers, who are willing to appropriate a portion of their School District and municipal taxes toward the service.  In addition, the school district and municipalities agreed to make public facilities and equipment available for the recreation activities, when not in use for their own purposes. Should one of the partners change the dynamic of the structure, the others will be affected.

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OVERVIEW OF WEST SHORE REC - slide presentation
given to West Shore School Board in August 2011

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  BENEFITS ARE MANY - here are just a few (click to enlarge)
  
  

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FORMATION
West Shore Recreation Commission is a joint venture of local government, formed in 1968 by the West Shore School District and the Boroughs of Lemoyne, Lewisberry and New Cumberland, and the Townships of Fairview, Lower Allen and Newberry. Goldsboro Borough is a current participant. 

Multi-municipal arrangements are highly regarded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for their ability to produce a service that benefits residents in a greater way than if they township or borough attempted to provide the service on its own.  The arrangement:
Saves money
   One recreation director and staff are shared, rather than each municipality funding their own --- or not at all.
   Administrative tools (registration software, insurance, brochures) and program equipment are centralized and shared.

Reduces duplication
   Two entities don't compete by offering the same activity, only to receive insufficient registration.

A greater product is available
  Regionalizing allows small communities to develop recreation programs and hire staff that none could afford on their own.
  People do not totally exist within their municipal boundaries. Sharing equipment, services and facilities allows municipalities to contribute to the quality of life without trying to "do it all."  Some municipalities will offer great parks, others will offer indoor meeting space or a community swimming pool.
 

More can be read about the outstanding benefits of cooperative agreements between local governments for recreation services in the Pennsylvania DCNR booklet Multi-Municipal Cooperation for Recreation and Parks.

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West Shore School District Board of Directors - contacts by region (also available at www.wssd.k12.pa.us)

M. Todd Ambrose--Region One (Lemoyne and New Cumberland Boroughs; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 4 & 5)
President       email: tambrose@wssd.k12.pa.us

Anthony J. Tezik, Ed.D.--Region Two (Fairview Twp-Precincts 1,2 & 4; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 1,2,3 & 6)
Vice President  email: ttezik@wssd.k12.pa.us

Ronald Candioto--Region One (Lemoyne and New Cumberland Boroughs; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 4 & 5)
Board Member  email:  rcandioto@wssd.k12.pa.us

Denise N. Grover--Region Three (Goldsboro and Lewisberry Boroughs; Fairview Twp-Precinct 3; Newberry Twp-Precincts 1 & 3)
Board Member
 email: dngrover@epix.net

Brian K. Guistwhite--Region Three (Goldsboro and Lewisberry Boroughs; Fairview Twp-Precinct 3; Newberry Twp-Precincts 1 & 3)
Board Member  
email: bguistwhite@wssd.k12.pa.us

Frank J. Kambic--Region One (Lemoyne and New Cumberland Boroughs; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 4 & 5)
Board Member  email: fkambic@comcast.net

Judith A. Crocenzi--Region Three (Goldsboro and Lewisberry Boroughs; Fairview Twp-Precinct 3; Newberry Twp-Precincts 1 & 3)
Board Member  
email:
jcrocenzi@wssd.k12.pa.us     

Gayle M. Russell--Region Two (Fairview Twp-Precincts 1,2 & 4; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 1,2,3 & 6)
Board Member  email: grussell@wssd.k12.pa.us

Kelli C. Williamson--Region Two (Fairview Twp-Precincts 1,2 & 4; Lower Allen Twp-Precincts 1,2,3 & 6)
Board Member  email: kwilliamson@wssd.k12.pa.us

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www.westshorerec.org