Seneca County Park Board rehired its three employees for 2013 during Wednesday's meeting.
Director Pat Obringer's salary was increased from $6,000 per year to $7,200 per year, which is $100 more per month. Program Director Linda Rose's salary was increased from $3,000 per year to $3,900, which is $75 more per month.
"I think both of those individuals are very dedicated and do a tremendous job for our park district," said board member Roland Zimmerman. "This increase in no way represents what they have done and do for us."
"The work that you guys do is just unbelievable at times," said Chairman Russ Rife.
The board also re-employed Rose as administrator of Out & About Preschool, and Tammy Vargo was rehired as her assistant at the same salary.
Also regarding finances, board member Jim Nordholt said the budget committee plans to propose a budget at the December meeting.
During the treasurer's report, Nordholt said the park district will receive its annual farm rent in November and it is estimated to be $23,000 from the farm ground at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve and $800 from Forrest Nature Preserve. Farm rental payments are the district's sole means of income, except for grants and donations.
The board does not receive county General Fund dollars."It looks like we'll lbe financially secure next year," Nordholt said
"We'll have 30-some thousand dollars of carryover, but that's got to get us through almost the whole year," he said. "We have to make sure we have that to keep us going and pay our bills."
Among the funds is $3,000-$5,000 that were specifically donated for log cabin restoration and West Lodi Church renovations.
He said the preschool budget also expects a carryover.
Rose reported 24 of 35 park district levies in Ohio were passed by voters Nov. 6. She said most failures were for additional funds and not levy renewals.
Rose said she hosted 15 members of the Northwest Ohio Naturalists Nov. 8 at Garlo preserve, which was the first time the group met in Seneca County.
Rose said she explained the history of the parks, and how the district has grown through donations, grants and volunteer labor, but little income.
"They were very impressed," she said.
Rose said she presented a program to 138 people at an early childhood conference at Bowling Green State University Saturday about how to get children and parents outdoors, and she is to present a program at the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association meeting later this month.
Volunteer graphic designer Archie Clark presented a new brochure for Clinton/Schekelhoff Nature Preserve to be reviewed by the board. The brochure is a combination of the county park district's Clinton Nature Preserve and Tiffin's Schekelhoff Nature Preserve because Clinton picks up where Schekelhoff ends.
The new brochures include a scan code for smart phone users. A phone can be used to scan a bar code which takes the person directly to the website.
Clark recommended the brochures for other parks be updated also. He asked for ideas by the Dec. 12 meeting.
"I don't think we can say enough about how grateful we are for the detailed work," Rife said. "It takes us to a whole new level."
Clark also presented the first draft of a map of the new Mercy Community Nature Preserve. To create maps, Clark walks the park and uses GPS coordinates to create an accurate map.
After the board reviewed it, he gave the map to Mercy park chairman Katheren Gase for suggestions from the Mercy Hospital board.
Gase said the hospital's new wellness coordinator is looking for grants to pave a path to the entrance to the woods. The main trail has been cleared, and a 40-foot bridge is planned to be built in one section. The board offered pieces of boardwalk and railroad ties for sections of the trail that wet seasonally.
In other business, the board:
Decided not to co-sponsor a program with Seneca Soil and Water Conservation District. Zinn said it's a good project, but board members agreed the park district exists on grants and they didn't think it was appropriate to direct park district donations to another project.
Agreed to seek a bid on moving fill material to shore up a dike around Olgierd Lake at Garlo preserve.
Heard Rife is rebuilding an old-fashioned stove for use in the restored log cabin at Garlo prserve.
Heard a property exchange with a property owner in West Lodi is proceeding, but awaiting paperwork. The board is exchanging property with a landowner adjacent to Bowen Nature Preserve so West Lodi Church can be contiguous to the park.
Approved Nordholt to write a letter of support for Bellevue Community Center, which is applying for a Clean Ohio grant. The park district sometimes works with the community center to provide programming.
Heard the Friends of the Seneca County Park District has new membership brochures available, and authorized up to $1,000 to hire Merre Phillips and Mike Brown for newsletter design, website and social media services. The group plans to invite them to the Dec. 12 meeting for an update.