Posted on March 5, 2019
By Tia Lyons
The board and manager who oversee operations at the El Dorado-Union County Recreation Complex have agreed on personnel and payroll changes to provide more assistance onsite at night and on weekends.
Complex board members and county officials and employees discussed the issue last week, giving the OK to present a proposed ordinance to the Union County Quorum Court to use the salary of a vacant, full-time position to hire two or three part-time workers.
The Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado, which manages the complex under a contract with the city of El Dorado, proposed eliminating the full-time slot and hiring part-time workers to be onsite during games, tournaments, practices and other activities that take place at the complex at night and on the weekend, typically the busiest times at the complex.
Board members have long discussed the need to have complex employees available for assistance during busy periods.
There have traditionally been three full-time employees at the complex, including the manager.
The employees work to maintain the facility with base, working hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Former complex employee Perry Franklin recently moved to another position and department within the county in order to adjust his work schedule so he can serve as an umpire in the evening, board members said.
Greg Harrison, chairman of the complex board, said the pool of umpires to officiate games at the complex and other fields around the county has dwindled over the years.
On a recent day, games were held simultaneously in El Dorado, Parkers Chapel and Smackover and the pickings were slim for umpires to officiate, Harrison said.
Board members have said that consistently having help onsite during busy periods at the complex would not only better serve those who use the facility, but it would also help the board be better stewards of taxpayer money, Harrison said.
Union County Treasurer Debbie Ray and Jody Cunningham, administrative assistant/office manager in Judge Mike Loftin’s office, said the quorum court would have to vote on a line-item adjustment for salaries in the 2019 county budget.
Including annual pay of nearly $29,000 and a benefits/retirement package, Cunningham told board members the amount that is available to hire part-time workers comes to $41,600.
“That’s what you have to work with as far as salary,” she said.
Harrison noted that Cunningham has drawn up a proposed ordinance and he hopes the board can present it during the next regular quorum court meeting at 10 a.m. March 21.
As a member of the quorum court, Harrison has said he would recuse himself from a vote on the matter.
Complex board member Will Crowder also serves on the quorum court.
Cunningham and Ray also reminded board members that as they begin phase one of a master improvement and expansion plan, the bids and other related actions and documents would need to be kept on file with the county.
“The auditors come to us with any questions or issues,” Cunningham said.
In other business, the complex board agreed to look into alternatives for electrical/lighting work for a contemporary concession stand that was transported in December from the boys and girls club North West Avenue location to the complex.
Last year, the club was awarded the contract to operate concessions at the complex and board members agreed that a second concession stand was needed to serve the two newest fields on the south end of the complex.
An existing concession stand feeds four fields on the north end of the facility.
Included in the master improvement plan for the complex is a new building that will include concessions, restrooms, coaches and umpires’ lounge and game room on the south end of the complex.
Board members hope to launch phase one of the plan this year.
Dianne Hammond, vicechairman of the complex board and a member of the El Dorado City Council, said a bid of nearly $9,000 seemed excessive for a concession stand that will be used on a shortterm basis.
She said she had researched the matter and learned that much of the work could be done in-house and at a much lower cost of $1,000 — $1,500.
Harrison said there may have been some miscommunication about the scope of work during the bidding process, noting that the job includes only the temporary concession stand and not the existing stand.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or email@example.com.