Ulvestad Proposes Combining Parks, Rec District

Recreation District executive director proposed combining city parks department with Recreation District. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Recreation District executive director proposed combining city parks department with Recreation District. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Seth Ulvestad, who's executive director of the Sheridan Recreation District, has proposed that the Recreation District and the city's parks department be combined.

Ulvestad presented the proposal to Sheridan's City Council in a council study session earlier this week.

Ulvestad said recreation activities take place in all of Sheridan's parks, and allowing the two departments to work together will allow them to enhance programs and advance a development and operations plan that strengthens the city's parks.

He said staff structure would remain the same, but city parks employees would become employees of the Sheridan Recreation District, and will maintain current salaries, benefits and job titles.

Public Works Director Lane Thompson said the city department currently maintains nearly 150 acres of community and neighborhood parks, nearly 10 acres of dog parks, 145 acres of natural areas and a little over 16 miles of pathways.

He said there are five full-time employees in the parks department and six employees at the cemetery.

He said the general fund budget for the parks is $569,000. The department also receives some funds from the optional 1-cent tax and through direct distribution. He said those funds don't include all of the projects the city does for the parks. For example, he said, the budget for pathways this year is $600,000.

Also included in the city parks is the city's weed and pest control which, Thompson said, does fund itself. The department also includes the golf course, and that, Thompson said, runs at a deficit.

Ulvestad said the proposal isn't for a complete separation from the city but is instead combining everything under the umbrella of the Recreation District for operations and maintenance.

He said the parks are still city property, and the Recreation District still wants to work with the City Council.

Another view of Ulvestad during presentation. (Photo by Pat Blair)
Another view of Ulvestad during presentation. (Photo by Pat Blair)
SheridanWyoming.com

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