GREG LOWER

Chanute Recreation Commission members did not have much time before Wednesday evening’s meeting to determine how the governor’s order to delay the start of school would impact fall sports.

Summer sports are wrapping up and signups are starting for flag football, fall soccer and fall volleyball.

Gov. Laura Kelly’s order Wednesday afternoon means school practices and games will be delayed, so fall rec programs will also be pushed back.

Interim rec director Monica Colborn said she had no time to get guidance from the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association Wednesday, but expected a call Thursday.

“We’re still going to try to do our best to have a season,” she said.

After school programs also will be delayed.

The CRC did not discuss how the school delay could impact the Maring Aquatic Center, which is operated by the city parks department. The board did talk about how travel restrictions from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may impact international community college students, who play a part in rec soccer programs.

Board members said Chanute has had no cases of coronavirus exposure related to the rec center or the pool. A social media posting about that being the case was photo-shopped from an Arkansas City news release, Colborn said.

She has received compliments about a decision to remove bleachers to encourage social distancing during the summer ball programs.

Officials will still need to be paid for the final games of the season, but Colborn said baseball should see a profit of $1,400 and softball should show a gain of $990, while T-ball broke even.

The recreation commission, which follows a July 1 to June 30 budget year, finished 2019-20 with $117,000 in surplus funds.

Colborn said closing for two months cost some revenue, but the commission made it up from a decrease in payroll expenses. Officials would like to build a financial cushion.

A 2020-21 budget hearing is scheduled for noon July 29. Colborn said indications are that property valuations will be flat and tax payments might be down next year due to people unable to pay taxes because of being unemployed during the pandemic.

The new budget is similar to last year’s, Colborn said. Last year had a “ghost” budget due to unknown expenses and a change in record keeping. Colborn said the Wichita recreation department is facing a $1 million cut.

The CRC will meet again at 5:30 pm Aug. 12.

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