Revenue, participation increased for Kendalville Park and Recreation Department events in 2016

February 16th, 2017

By Dennis Nartker | KPC News - The News Sun

Participation in park department programs increased last year, and the Kendallville Outdoor Recreation Complex was a popular venue for local sports enthusiasts and visitors from April through November.

Kendallville Park and Recreation Department director Jim Pankop recently released his department’s 2016 annual report.

“It was another very successful year for the department as many projects came to completion and new projects were started,” he said. “Recreation continues to grow with many outstanding events, and a very successful summer day camp program.”

Total revenue for 2016 was $626,493 with expenditures totalling $605,908. Some budget items showing increased revenue when compared to 2015 were: campground, $38,794 ($27,690); Youth Center concessions, $1,428 ($933); park admissions, $13,943 ($13,842); skate night admissions, $1,273 ($887); and gymnastics, $3,801 ($2,685).

The recreation complex generated $130,041 in 2016 and $128,053 was disbursed, for a profit of $1,988.

Programs with increased participation compared to 2015 included: barbecue cook-off, 200 (50); camping, 524 (433); gymnastics, 112 (101); skate night, 1,212 (843); and summer day camp, 90 (81). More than 1,500 people visited the Halloween Trail of Terror.

Pankop believes the increase in campers was helped by tournament ball players from the recreation complex staying overnight in the campground.

Major improvements to the Youth Center included installation of two energy efficient furnaces and new ceiling tiles, lights replaced with LEDs, parking lot upgrades with new seal coating and striping and landscaping to the front of the building.

Completed projects included: a 1,350-foot sidewalk extension along the road around Bixler Lake with installation of a new kiosk and interpretive signage; improvements to the Youth Center; new boat ramp installed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources; new Kendallville Rotary Club pavilion; a replaced rubberized safety surface under recreation complex play equipment with engineered wood fiber; addition of 20 tons of sand to Bixler Lake beaches; and larger discharge pipes in campground dump station.

Volunteers helped with projects and events throughout the year, Pankop said in his report.

“Cooperation from other city departments continued to be a huge asset to the park and recreation department.”

One event in 2016 the park department hopes to have again this year was the Patriotic Pops Fourth of July Concert with food booths and fireworks over the lake. Recreation director Dawn McGahen and Pankop said the event was a success due to the generosity of donors and volunteers.

A fund raising campaign began in 2016 for Phase 2 of the Kendallville Outdoor Recreation Complex and the purchase of a mobile stage.

Projects planned for this year include: dredging the fishing channel; IDNR completing boat ramp parking area; remodeling the Youth Center park department offices; crack filling, sealing and striping the upper park parking lot and basketball court, installing LED lighting in Bixler Lake Park restrooms; and completing recreation complex fundraising.

Work could begin on Phase 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Complex if the city receives a $400,000 grant from the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority.

Categories Quality of Life