Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sad news

Jim Hurst
MCRPD Executive Director

For the past nine months I have been serving as the volunteer Administrator of the Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District and Manager of the C.V. Starr Center. Considerable progress has been made by staff and Board Members to reduce District operating expenses and increase revenue and donations. One year ago the District’s negative cash flow was $100,000 per month. Today it is $50,000 per month.
The Mendocino Coast Recreation and Park District will not have sufficient cash reserves to continue operating beginning January 2011. I recommended that unless the District has six months of operating capital available or otherwise committed by December 15, 2010, the Board of Directors should consider the possibility of suspending all program operations in Fort Bragg and Mendocino and “mothballing” the C.V. Starr Center until such funds are available.
Currently property taxes cover a little more than half of the $600,000 annual negative cash flow leaving the balance of about $250,000 a year to come from donations. Unfortunately donations and SCORE commitments (Starr Center Operating Reserve and Endowment fund) have not been enough and property tax reserves have been used to cover the negative cash flow between last June and now.
I also recommended that the MCRPD aggressively continue the process to either establish a Benefit Assessment Tax District or ask voters to approve a Parcel Tax in June 2011 to increase property tax funding for the District. The first step is a survey to determine what voters in the District will support. Only 25 to 30 percent of the District’s operating expenses are covered by property taxes. The appropriate level is between 50 and 75 percent.
Here is how you can help avoid a closure of these two vital facilities. I am asking the MCRPD staff and you to obtain 300 to 500 commitments and pledges of $100 per month for 12 months to cover operating expenses through June 30, 2011. Pledge cards and more information are available at the Starr Community Center and the Mendocino Community Center. Donations will be held in a special account until the six month goal is reached.
I deeply hope suspending district operations and “mothballing” the C.V. Starr Center can be avoided; however, we cannot ignore the fact that the MCRPD will be out of money by the end of December.
Jim Hurst
MCRPD Executive Director

Here is a PDF file for a SCORE card if you would like to help.

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