Caledonia Park Director Chris Clardy updated the board of aldermen about current activities at Ola J Pickett Park at the June 5 regular meeting.
“Thursday baseball and softball was over with,” he said. “We’ve moved kind of into all-star selection now. We have six teams that are going to represent Caledonia in the state tournament. We selected the coaches, and from there they’ll start practicing at our facility.
The parks are in good shape financially, he said.
“As far as finances go, we approved $11,000 worth of bills last night,” he said. “That’ll bring our account to about $24,000 as of right now.”
Sales at the concession stand are very strong, he said.
“We have some numbers on the concession stand,” he said. “Before this season nobody really knew the possibilities of what our concession stand could do. Now we’re keeping track of what’s going out and what’s coming in. When closed the concession on June 1 we had made $24,728. Out of that, we had $9,000 worth of purchases – food, drinks, whatever we needed to run the concession. Then we also took our labor out, which was $4,940.
“Just to see what all we could pay out of concession and see if we could use it to cover our park, we ran some numbers,” he said. “We took the light bill out of it, which was $527, the gas bill was $106, and we still had $10,096 in profit. Our concession stand can make money if it’s run correctly. I’m not saying we ran it perfectly, this was our first year. We’ve got some kinks we’ve got to work out, but we are heading in the right direction.”
Labor for umpires came to about $8,000, he said, and scorekeepers were $3,400.
“You can still almost pay for everything just off concession,” he said. “We’re just about $1,000 off being able to cover all of our bills for the whole season.”
There is still some product left that can be sold, and church league softball is still on the horizon, he said.
“We’re going to experiment with the concession stand depending on how many teams we have,” he said. “We’re going to offer just a little to cover the crowd we come in, but if we see it’s a big crowd we’ll offer more.”
The park is getting $25,000 from the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors as part of the county recreation allotment, Clardy said.
“I want to publicly thank our supervisors for allowing us to get that money,” said Mayor Mitch Wiggins.
“That $25,000 is going to help us a lot, but it’s a small part of what we really need,” Clardy said. “The park is growing pretty fast. There are several things we can use that for, but it has to be capital projects. If everything goes well with the state grant for lighting, we can use the money for immediate concerns like work on the concession stand/press box. I had 525 kids this year, and I didn’t have enough fields for them to play on. I’m working with Columbus Fence to see if they can build us another field we can use for coach pitch or T-ball, which will free up some space. That’s what I would recommend to the board. If we go into next year with the same problem we may have to look at capping the number of kids, and I would hate to do that. That would be a tough situation.”