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Accounting for facilities discussed

Hamburg town officials are talking about creating separate accounting funds for Woodlawn Beach State Park, Hamburg Town Beach and the ice arena on Lakeview Road.

Residents have tried to find out how much money the town is spending to operate Woodlawn Beach, but town officials said they can't separate out some costs because an employee might spend part of the day working at the beach and the other part at another town facility.

The town would set up separate "enterprise" funds for the three recreation facilities. The town's golf course is operated through an enterprise fund.

"It was thought it might be beneficial from a record-keeping standpoint, if we enterprise not just Woodlawn Beach, but the ice arena and Town Park as well," Supervisor Steven J. Walters said.

"An enterprise fund is like any profit-making separate business," said the town's accounting consultant, Wayne Drescher.

New accounts would be set up, costs and revenues would be removed from the general fund for recreation and buildings and grounds, and a profit-making balance sheet and income statement would be generated, Drescher said.

"Obviously, the town isn't here to necessarily make a profit off of its recreational facilities," he said. "As budgets get tighter, we want to know what the revenues are, what the expenditures are, and what the town may be subsidizing for each of those particular facilities."

The proposal was made during the work session before the board's regular meeting Monday night.

Walters said the target date to establish the funds is Jan. 1, 2013, but the work would have to be done by August as the town puts together the budget for next year.

A move to set up an enterprise fund for Woodlawn Beach in February 2011 was defeated in a 2-2 vote by the Town Board.

Also Monday night, the board voted to spend up to $32,000 to buy inflatable play units to place on Woodlawn Beach for children. The play area would be fenced off, and would require an additional fee, as well as attendants to monitor the Kid Zone area.