Summer program set despite cuts

MAYFIELD – The village has cut the youth commission’s budget by nearly half, but the commission still plans to offer a summer program.

Mayor Jamie Ward, who is also the youth commissioner, said the group will have a few new events this summer.

The village cut the youth commission budget by roughly $8,500 from last fiscal year’s $19,000.

The cuts were made in the 2014-15 village budget of $611,000, which increased the tax levy from $228,353 to $233,707, and increased the tax rate from $3.71 to $3.91 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Despite increasing revenue from taxes, the youth commission budget needed to be cut because of increased costs elsewhere in the budget.

Village Clerk Terri Brubaker said there was also a decrease in mortgage taxes and other revenue, leading to less money for the village budget.

Despite the cuts, Ward said he did not expect major changes in the summer program. Currently, there are 11 part-time paid employees, who earn minimum wage, and eight volunteers for the program.

Children attending the program will not be left unattended, Ward said.

The commission plans to have nature hikes around Mayfield Lake and swim days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other activities will include arts and crafts, and games.

The program was started in the 1970s.

“It is always something that has stuck with me and a favorite pastime that is something we want to ensure to carry forward,” Ward said. “This isn’t about dollars and cents, this is about providing an environment and an outlet to just let kids be kids and step away from the computer for a while or video games.”

Last year, Brubaker said, the summer program had roughly 150 children sign up.

Ward said as the program continues over the summer the numbers decrease to around 70 youths.

Children between first and seventh grades can sign up for the summer program. Ward said there is a recommended donation of $25 to sign up.

The program will run from July 7 through Aug. 1.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached a acleveland@leaderherald.com.