Plans finalized for annual Paxton Community Sale

PAXTON — The Paxton Park District’s board of commissioners finalized plans for the district’s annual Paxton Community Sale during its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at Coady Park, 601 S. Fall St.

Among items to be auctioned off will be tools, furniture, farm equipment, antiques, lawn and garden items, plants, animals, primitives, vehicles and appliances.

There will also be a flea market and vendors.

Anyone interested in selling items may drop off items to get tagged and registered between 1 and 6 p.m. Friday, April 6. Items will be accepted, and registration occurs, between 6 and 9 a.m.

Anyone wishing to consign items is asked to report to the check-in area located in the Paxton Civic Center at the park. Sellers will be assigned a number and tags, and assistance in tagging items will be provided if requested.

A $1 fee will be charged for each buyer’s number. Registration of buyers will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 7, inside the Civic Center.

Buyers must pay for their items on sale day. Consignors will be given a buyer’s number when they check in.

Buyers and consignors must present a valid, non-expired form of identification at the time of check-in.

A 20 percent commission will be charged per tagged item. Items that do not bring in $3 are considered donated.

The seller is responsible for a buy-back, and there will be a $5 fee for each buy-back. All vehicles must have a clear title present that will be left at the check-in area before the sale begins.

Park district receives visit from health department
After the board took no action during January’s meeting toward approving a smoke-free parks policy, Christy Wallace of the Ford County Public Health Department spoke with the board last week about the possible benefits of such a policy.

Wallace explained the hazardous effects of secondhand smoke, its environmental impact, and how a smoke-free parks policy could set a good example for local youth.

Neal McKenry, the park district’s recreation director, said that Wallace explained the city of Paxton’s recently approved ordinance, which applies only to parks owned by the city. Wallace also said any organization wishing to implement such a policy would have the backing of the health department.

Intergovernmental agreement with PBL agreed upon
The park board also approved the renewal of an intergovernmental agreement with the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district last week. The agreement is now awaiting approval by the school board. 

A fee the park district must pay under the agreement for the use of school district facilities has increased from $6,500 to $7,000 annually, McKenry said. The agreement “continues to stipulate that the park district is allowed facility usage for several of its programs as long as those programs do not interfere with or infringe upon the conduct and best interests of the school district,” McKenry said.

Youth programs accepting registration
Also at last week’s meeting, McKenry announced that registration is open for youth soccer and youth baseball and softball.

In addition to the youth soccer registration, kids have the opportunity to sign up for a free soccer clinic on March 24 conducted by the Chicago Fire, along with the Them Soccerclub. Area baseball and softball players will also have the chance to participate in a “pitch, hit and run” competition that the park district, in collaboration with Major League Baseball and Scotts, is bringing to Paxton on May 5. 
More information can be found at www.paxtonparkdistrict.com.

Once school lets out, area youth will also have the opportunity to sign up for the park district’s June play camp. “Details are not yet posted, but we’re looking to hold a five-day-a-week play camp at Coady Park between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.” McKenry said. 

Budget presented to board
A combined budget and appropriations ordinance for the 2018 fiscal year was presented to the board last week, as well.  The appropriation budget is still tentative and will not be approved until April, McKenry noted.

The budget, based on last year’s income and expenses as well as this year’s projections, includes an expected $20,000 to $25,000 shortfall at the swimming pool.

“This loss, which has been the case every year, will need to be made up through other programs,” McKenry said. “More or less, other programs will need to continue to be successful from a financial standpoint, even after their own expenses are paid, to subsidize the expected loss at the pool. The expected loss at the pool is fluid, however.

“If we have a really hot summer with a lot of daily attendance, a good swim team turnout and weekend pool parties booked more often than not, we’ll still be at a loss, just not at much. If attendance is down or if major issues arise mechanically, we’d expect to be hurting even more.”

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