Wellington’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board met Monday, Sept. 14 and reviewed the village’s sales surtax fund expenditures, and also received updates on projects such as the Wellington High School Sports Complex and the Wellington Town Center Promenade.
Deputy Village Manager Tanya Quickel reported that 91 percent or $3,298,000 of the $3.6 million collected thus far this year has been remitted to the village. That makes $15.2 million as the total amount of collections since the inception of the one-cent sales surtax, approved by voters in 2016.
The bulk of the money has gone to the Wellington High School Sports Complex, a joint program with the School District of Palm Beach County in which facilities were built on school property. This scenario preserved unbuilt village recreational property for a future, undecided use, and conveniently located new sports facilities that can be used by both the school and village residents.
The sports complex will cost $12.2 million, according to the contract, with $2.5 million currently underway. The first phase of the project has been completed, which included major upgrades to the existing football stadium.
The recent drop in projected sales tax revenue disbursements due to reduced collections during the COVID-19 pandemic will not affect the budget for this project, as all the money earmarked for the project was collected before the pandemic began under the village’s “pay as you go” philosophy.
The new and improved multi-use complex will have state-of-the-art synthetic turf on the fields, and the entire facility is expected to be complete by next summer.
“Some parts of the project are even ahead of schedule,” Quickel said.
The balance of the $15.2 million surtax budget goes primarily to phase two of the promenade boardwalk constructed alongside Lake Wellington.
In other business:
• All village parks are now open with social distancing, and the Food Trucks in the Parks program will continue on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Many park programs have begun again, with CDC protocols.
• A newsletter should be completed and coming out soon, as well as the Parks Master Plan.
• Residents were encouraged by PRAB Chair Sam Falzone to begin reviewing the village web site more frequently, as the latest information on programs is available there immediately, and they can respond in a timely fashion. With the reduced capacity of soccer, some parents didn’t realize registration was open until after all the spaces were filled. Learn more about current programs at www.wellingtonfl.gov.