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Staff: Mistlin Park finances will improve

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POSTED October 1, 2013 11:20 p.m.

The best appears yet to come for the Mistlin Sports Park based on a recent report.

For the first time, a financial analysis on the complex was provided by Kye Stevens at Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting.

“The numbers (consisting of expenses, revenue and projections) were conservative,” said the recreation director.

The financial picture may not appear rosy at first glance.

Take this year, for example.

Expenses consisted of the fountain ($15,000), soccer fields ($200,391) and baseball fields ($70,000) at over $285,000 while revenue for soccer fields ($80,273), baseball fields $17,235) and concessions ($2,263) came to $99,771.

According to the report, those assumptions were the sub-totaled amount for both expense and revenue. Assumptions also included 90 percent of the facilities being rented out.

But the revenue for 2013-14 is projected to climb dramatically to over $187,000, taking into account completion of the new softball complex equipped with a restaurant-type concession stand. Stevens indicated that concessions up to now were limited to just beverages and a few packaged items.

“The new fields are geared towards younger children,” he said. “They’ll bring in families and more use of our concessions.”

The new and improved concession, Stevens added, comes equipped with a deep fryer. “We can offer a restaurant menu,” he said.

Cost projections for next year includes the fountain ($15,000), soccer fields ($204,807), baseball fields ($40,000) and the new softball fields ($40,000) as expenses tallying $299,807.

Ted Johnston, who is the director of public works, noted that maintenance made up to what comes up to two full-time workers was the biggest expense. “It’s very labor intensive (to keep up the fields) particularly with the reduction in staff,” he said.

The soccer fields ($90,000), baseball fields ($35,000), concessions ($10,000) and softball fields ($2,500) – due to open by the spring – provided increased revenue projections. Those numbers could get even better by 2014-15 as concessions ($26,000) and the softball fields ($105,000) will be in operation for an entire year.

“I think those numbers are skewered,” said Mayor Dean Uecker, who also took into account the money that’s generated in sales tax from gas, food, and lodging by out-of-towners going to Mistlin.

Stevens agreed. “We’ve generated (money) above and beyond to the city,” he said.

In addition, the city is exploring the possibility of attracting different sports such as lacrosse to Mistlin, Stevens said.

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