Money continues to be a problem for the Parks and Recreation Commission with some park officials looking to the city’s cut in contributions as the source of the strain.
“We are still in a financial strain,” said Director Sedric Hudson, during the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors meeting. “We haven’t had any money coming in from the city. We are behind on every bill we have got. We are $15,000 in the hole.”
Hudson said the Parks and Recreation Commission has not received a check from the city of Yazoo City since last October.
Hudson said he was told by a city deputy clerk that the city was waiting on money from Yazoo County with its tax collections.
However, check statements show that the city has received $774, 026 from Yazoo County since last November.
Hudson told county leaders the commission is meeting payroll necessities, but that is all when it comes to the finances. He also shared with the county board that the commission’s gas card was turned off due to lack of funding.
During Monday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved paying the $816 gas bill to ensure the commission can get fuel as it prepares for the Little League season.
The Parks and Recreation Commission has been operating with a bare budget, that proved detrimental when commissioners said the city of Yazoo City cut its total contribution by nearly $20,000 and hasn’t received any funds in almost five months.
Based on financial records, the city contributed $130,953 in 2016-2017. Those funds decreased to $93,565 last year. This year, those funds decreased again to $74, 250.
City leaders said they wish to support the Parks and Recreation Commission. But they will contribute their fair share based on the value of a mill.
Wade Yeates, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, appeared before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen last week to give a quarterly report.
“We are at a point where we are paying payroll expenses and that is it,” Yeates said. “That is it for now until the funding is there. I was here last quarter, and I told you we were going to be skin and bones. And quite frankly, I haven’t seen a cent since.”
“We are not withholding funds,” replied Mayor Diane Delaware.
There was some miscommunication on funding between Yeates and City Clerk Kaneilia Williams, and Delaware suggested the two parties meet to iron out the details.
“Are you trying to prevent me from asking some questions,” Yeates asked.
“I am asking you do to a report,” Delaware said.
“The report is there is no money to do anything,” Yeates replied. “We have done very little in the past quarter with what we haven’t’ had.”
Yeates reminded the city council that the Parks and Recreation Commission took a big hit with the opening of the swimming pool last summer. The Commission intended not to open the pool due to the expense associated with it.
But the city council insisted that the commission open the pool, adding that they would “take care” of the commission if pool proved costly.
Yeates said no assistance was ever provided to the commission after the pool opened.
Alderman Ron Johnson said he doesn’t remember saying anything about assisting the commission. But Alderman Sir Johnathan White said the board did make that statement.
The Yazoo Herald did report the city council pushing for the commission to open the pool, adding that it would assist the commission financially. Former mayor Wardell Leach was also behind the push to open the pool.
“But it wasn’t approved,” Johnson said.
“But if somebody said they were going to help do something, they should do it,” Rucker replied. “It is a crisis. There is nothing I can do as an individual. I do hope it gets better for you. (Hudson) is doing a great job for what he has to do it with.”
The report from the commission was then ended by the city council.
“Can we get an hour next time like everybody else did,” Yeates asked, upon exiting.