The Parks and Recreation Commission received a presentation on Nov. 9 about the various divisions and people that make up the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
The presentation was similar to one city staff made at the Galt Citizens Academy, and Parks and Recreation Director Armando Solis said he wanted the commissioners to see it to understand how the department works.
The department has four divisions: Parks, Recreation, the Galt Market and Special Events. Managing much of the logistics is administration.
Charged with maintaining 21 parks, as well as more than 34 acres of open space, streetscapes and city landscaping, the Parks Division has seven full-time employees and 10 part-time employees.
The Recreation Division manages city activities, such as sports, special-interest classes, school programs and the Gora Aquatic Center. It has one full-time employee and three part-time employees, who oversee 50-80 temp workers.
The division also runs Meals on Wheels programs and the STAR program for adults with developmental disabilities, as well as the weekly COVID-19 testing program, which Solis said would continue through January.
Solis noted that the department is not allowed to charge more than it costs to run its various programs. He said Parks and Rec sets prices “as close as we can” to costs while bearing in mind that too high a charge will price out some residents.
The Galt Market is run by two full-timers, nine part-timers and 12-17 temps, who assist vendors and customers, handle regulatory requirements and clean the market grounds at the end of the day.
Solis noted that the market has reversed a trend of falling revenue. Annual revenue had dropped from $2.5 million in 2018 to $1.6 million in 2020. But the trend changed direction in the following years. So far in 2022, the market has nearly matched its 2018 income. Expenses have held steady in the $900,000 range.
The Special Events Division manages permitting for activities organized by community members, and it also mounts the city’s events, such as the Independence Day Celebration and the Winter Bird Festival. It was responsible for this year’s Saturday Market series testing the viability of weekend hours for the Galt Market.
Administration — with one full-time employee, two part-time employees and one temp — oversees the city’s rental facilities, including the Littleton and Chabolla community centers and various gazebos and sports fields.
In addition, it manages two city-owned gun ranges north of the water treatment plant that are used by local law enforcement agencies, along with two city commissions, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Commission on Aging.
The commissioners commended the work of Parks and Rec.
“With the limited staff that you’ve highlighted, you do a phenomenal job for the city, … and I know the city has no idea,” commission Chair Ernest Cason Jr. said, suggesting that the city publish a summary of the presentation to show what the department is “accomplishing almost against all odds.”
Upcoming Parks and Rec events include Lighting of the Night on Dec. 3, 4-8 p.m., which will feature brand-new decorations and a Holiday Market on Civic Drive. Breakfast With Santa and the Grinch, a collaboration with Liberty Ranch High School baseball, will take place on Dec. 17, 8:30-11 a.m., at the Chabolla Community Center.