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Rainy summer impacts use of rec resources in 2009

Usage still strong despite a wet season

Despite having had an uncharacteristically rainy summer, recreational facilities in the Town of Bethlehem were still successful when they were open, according to the recently released 2009 Parks and Recreation Department Annual Report.

The report shows usage dropping slightly at some of the town's six parks, as well as at the Colonial Acres Golf Course, where the high volume months of June, July and August saw heavy rains.

Nearly 1,200 fewer rounds of golf were played in 2009 versus 2008.

Still the 9-hole course turned a profit, largely because not having facilities in use saves on the expenditures side.

We try to not have the golf course open if the weather's inclement, we try to control overtime, Parks and Recreation Direct Nan Lanahan said.

That does not include work done on a $40,000 maintenance garage at the course, which is coming out of the Parkland Set Aside Fund. Thus far, a concrete foundation has been poured and a frame erected. Lanahan hopes the garage can be completed by early summer.

"I think we've made significant progress because we've had a fairly mild winter," she said.

There was a similar story at the town pool complex at the Elm Avenue Park, where revenues of $179,000 were $20,000 above expenditures. That's a slight decrease from the previous year's revenues, but also a drop in expenditures, said Lanahan.

A week of the pool's operation was trimmed from the end of the season as a cost saving measure. That time has typically been the least busy time for the pool. No decision on whether to keep the same schedule this summer has been made.

Pool attendance in 2009 was over 47,000.

One area that saw a slight increase in both use and revenue was pavilion and warming area reservations. The town's six facilities brought in over $21,000 in 2009, as families took to the parks for some low-cost recreation.

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