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Recreation programs not in need of $200,000 subsidy
Middle school students packed the dance floor at the Golden West Gym during last Fridays Manteca Parks and Recreation Departments monthly middle school dance. This is the first year recreation fee-based programs offered by the city arent in need of a general fund subsidy to cover costs. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca’s municipal recreation supervisors have developed an uncanny sense of knowing what their target youth and adult audiences want.

For years the general fund provided a $200,000 annual subsidy for a line-up of recreation programs that ranges from swim lessons and art classes to basketball leagues. The subsidy isn’t needed this year.

That’s because the city has put in place fees that recover all of the costs of staging various recreation classes, sports clinics and leagues. At the same time they have added new offerings such as skin care and makeup for teens, classical yoga classes, and cardio boxing for teens.

The bottom line for taxpayers is that the stressed general fund that covers everything from public safety and parks to day-to-day operations doesn’t need to support shortfalls in the recreation fee-based programs as has happened in previous years on a routine basis.

Recreation fee-based programs generated $837,480 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. That’s up from $760,236 in the previous fiscal year.

The biggest program in terms of revenue are the Kids Zone after-school programs that brought in $305,000. Swim lessons were next at $78,895 followed by coed youth basketball and youth day camp at $32,000 apiece.

Among the success stories are the monthly middle school dances at the Golden West School gym. The dances that have a $5 admission fee are always packed. The next dance is May 11.

And while demand is up in terms of participants, the ranks of those who oversee recreation programs have been pared by one with a recreation program coordinator and two recreation supervisors remaining.