By Anne Hassler Heidel
The McPherson County Commission approved a 1.94 mill levy in Marquette for the local recreation commission. The district includes property in McPherson County and in Ellsworth County. The McPherson County portion will contribute $26,323 to the $42,600 program budget. Ellsworth County Commissioners must approve a levy to make up the $16,277 difference.
Presenting the budget on behalf of the Marquette Rec Commission was board member Scott Johnson.
“Our campaign promise was to keep the mill level between two and three and we’re on the low end of it,” Johnson said.
The Marquette portion of the budget will go to programs in the community such as Senior Center programs, Fine Arts Center programs, and a subsidy of the community swimming pool. The Marquette Rec Commission is also responsible for maintenance and utilities in the former elementary school building now owned by the city. Future plans for the school building include adding a day care facility that will use about half of the building’s space.
A salaried recreation director and rec equipment are also part of the budget.
The $8,000 budgeted for the swimming pool is only a portion of the operating costs for the pool. Operating costs were about $25,000 in 2017 and this excluded city staff salaries for those who work at the pool, according to Johnson. The pool also offers lessons to youth from Little River and Windom communities that do not have a pool.