Most residents shouldn't be surprised to hear that Provo - Freedom City, USA - is adding to its softball tournament funds. After all, softball is as patriotic as hot dogs and apple pie.
According to LeRoy Dennis, Provo parks and recreation director, an increase in recreation program participants has allowed the city to beef up several programs, including tournament funding.In a meeting this week, the City Council appropriated $17,000 in the recreation fund for program development.
Dennis said the largest budget increase, $9,000, will be in the softball tournament area, but funds for the youth track and field program are also increasing by $2,000.
Parks Department revenue has gone up as participation has increased in the program, and it is all a result of a changed department format, he said. Two recreation coordinators were hired this year to promote youth and adult sports.
"We felt all the way along that there were participants out there for various activities," Dennis said. "It was just a matter of presenting it, making it easy for them to register and promoting it. We are very pleased with the interest."
As a result of the change, the Recreation Division's revenue was greater than its expenses in the department's enterprise fund last year. In its first year as a separate fund - 1986-1987 - the story was reversed, but Dennis said the city foresees having enough revenue to cover expenses for many years to come.
In the meantime, Dennis said, the department has been working to develop programs to catch the interest of as many age groups as possible and have a balanced program.
"We felt for years there was a lack of programs for teenagers. Now we have come on quite strong with teenage basketball and slow-pitch softball. We are really trying to make an emphasis in that area and it's working."