The financial forecast is clearing up for the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority, after spending the last five or so years in a deficit.

Executive Director Tim Church says this past January, the HAPRA board directed him and staff to implement a 2.7% deficit elimination plan, after what Church says has been HAPRA’s slow crawl out of debt over the last four or five years. Church was happy to report at a Howell City Council meeting Monday that HAPRA is expected to have completed its deficit elimination plan by the end of this year, filling in the $53,000 needed to put them back in the black and maybe even a little beyond.

Church says it came down to tightening their belts by working with each department to increase revenues and seeking out help by way of sponsors. He tells WHMI now that their financial situation is looking much brighter, HAPRA can focus on needed improvements.

Church says the authority has spent money this year, specifically on upgrading the floors at the Bennett recreation center and upgrading to LED lights- areas that the board felt needed to be addressed. Still, he says they’re improving because they made a point to use their resources wisely. HAPRA was effective enough in its money-saving tactics that there were no program rates increased as a source of supplemental revenue.

After all of their efforts, Church is hoping the 2018 audit will show a cleaner record, noting that they’re on target and may even have a little bit of extra money to spend on infrastructure. (DK)