A student government committee approved Recreational Sports’ budget request for more than $2.7 million with a 5-1 vote for the next fiscal year on Monday.
The 2013-2014 budget is about a $400,000 increase from last year, with a $7.33 increase in segregated fees per student for the next year. The Associated Students of Madison’s Student Services Finance Committee voted on the budget proposal from Rec Sports with five members voting in favor of the budget, one voting against it and four members abstaining because they were absent at an earlier hearing or had affiliations with Rec Sports.
The approved budget for the next fiscal year includes the original budget, which covered only basic maintenance of the facilities and an additional $100,000, according to SSFC Chair Ellie Bruecker.
Interim Director of Recreational Sports Joe Horn said Rec Sports would use the extra money to figure out what they need to rebuild the Natatorium as well as renovate the Southeast Recreational Facility and the outdoor field area.
Bruecker said Rec Sports will spend the next year drafting a plan for possible facility renovations to the Natatorium. She said by next spring, they will know exactly how much money they will need from students and submit it for voting.
Bruecker said the addition to the budget is necessary, although she said she is “extremely” conscious of the increase in student segregated fees and wants to keep college affordable for students.
“I think it is ill-advised to assume that we can continue to fix
buildings that are falling apart with marginal increases,” Bruecker
Bruecker said this practice would eventually waste large amounts students’ dollars and advised the committee to support long-term improvements of Rec Sports with a spring referendum.
Additional funds for a feasibility study will increase segregated fees next year by $7.33 per student, compared to a $6 increase per student that Rec Sports’ original budget request required.
Horn said the additional increase of $1.33 per student is a one-time increase for the feasibility study.
SSFC Rep. Devon Maier supported the addition of funding for a feasibility study.
“We all talk about keeping seg fees under control, but it looks like we are spending maybe $10 million just keeping things where they are at…just keeping our poor facilities at their current poor level,” Maier said. “So I think this addition to the budget is a great idea to allow students in the spring to make an important decision to improve our university’s recreational facilities.”
The original budget proposal only included the basic expenses to keep the buildings open and running without any room for long-term improvements or expansion of the facilities.