Saturday, July 22, 2006

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses

The last couple of days we’ve heard about the recent vandalism at the new Pollock Community Water Park, caused when someone is believed to have thrown a glass bottle over metal fence into the area of the lap pool. That vandalism resulted in one pool patron suffering a minor cut and the city having to close the entire park for a day and portions of it for a longer period than that while cleanup was undertaken. All this comes with a price tag: up to $2,000 we’re told for the cleanup and water replacement (the pool had to be completely drained in order to be cleaned up) and whatever bills may have been incurred by the injured party. The city is said to be reviewing the pool’s security tapes to try getting a lead on the vandal(s). If they’re caught, I hope they’re prosecuted to the full extent of the law and punished accordingly.

There is another somewhat disturbing aspect to this and that was parks director Tom Stephany’s comment in this morning’s Oshkosh Northwestern article about the vandalism and how it would be paid for from the water park operation budget. He was quoted as having said “Now, we have a substantial expense that we weren’t expecting.”

I agree $2,000 is not a small expense, but it is small in comparison to what could eventually go wrong at the park and in comparison to the overall cost of building the park. But it is naïve for Stephany or anyone else to believe vandals would leave such a nice facility alone. We’ve also seen vandalism at the Leach Amphitheater and we saw vandalism at the sundial in the early days after it was built. Unfortunately this kind of behavior seems to be par for the course with a certain element in society today. I’m sure insurance would cover larger expenses, but why is there not a fund set up for smaller things like this? We hear all the time about rainy day funds and the like. Granted, this is hardly a catastrophic event usually covered by rainy day funds, but the point is it only makes sense that (a) the city expect the unexpected, and (b) plan accordingly.

As a side note, this is another reason to institute a facility charge at the Leach – to help pay for those unexpected things that may go wrong, vandalism-related or not. I don’t believe we have a contingency fund or plan in place over there either, do we?

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses
Authored by: DP on Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:48 PM MDT
I hope that the city is keeping seperate accounting for the pool. It will be interesting to see just how much it actually costs to operate.

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses
Authored by: NewVoice on Wednesday, July 26 2006 @ 11:30 AM MDT
They'll Probably list it as part of the operating budget and hide in the appendix to the budget somewhere no one will ever look. I hope Cheryl keeps on this.

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses
Authored by: Jim B. on Wednesday, July 26 2006 @ 02:39 PM MDT
I would also like to see attendance and income numbers. How many season passes were sold? My wife was there the other day with the kids(post glass incident) on a very hot day and she said it was dead compared to the week before.
Just curious!
Jim B.

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses
Authored by: admin on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 06:12 PM MDT
The Oshkosh Northwestern is reporting that three juveniles have been arrested for disorderly conduct in connection with this incident. Thanks to the anonymous persons who donated money for the cleanup and for the reward to help catch the guilty parties. If these youth are found guilty of this, they should be ordered to perform community service in the city. And I think they should be banned from using the water park for a specific time period. I do wonder why they were arrested for disorderly conduct only and not for vandalism as well. That is, after all, what this senseless and cowardly act was.
- Cheryl

Better plan needed for "unexpected" expenses
Authored by: NewVoice on Thursday, August 10 2006 @ 04:54 PM MDT
Besides the reckless charges and Cheryl's valid point about vandalism charges, how about assault charges of some kind? Wasn't someone injured by the glass?


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