PR13-22

STAFF REPORT

Operations Committee, April 4, 2013

 

Cary Teen Council (PR13-22)

Consideration of a budget adjustment for handling the budget and financial administration for the Cary Teen Council

Speaker:  Mr. Doug McRainey

 

From:  Doug McRainey, Director, PRCR Department

Prepared by: Bruce L. Crocker, PRCR Operations Analyst

Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager

Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

 

Executive Summary:  The purpose of this staff report is to request Town Council to consider a budget adjustment for handling the finances for Cary Teen Council within the Recreation Program Division Budget in the Parks Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.  

 

Background:  Cary Teen Council was established in 1989 with a parent and a teen approaching Town Council asking the Town to provide space and programs specifically for teens.  The request resulted in parents and teens, along with Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources staff, working together to provide social activities for teens.  The group of approximately 14 began meeting to discuss partnership opportunities with the Town. The teens chose to volunteer for Lazy Daze and Spring Daze Festivals.  Eventually, Teen Council started assisting with the Cary Road Race as well as other Town events.

 

Teen Council has historically not been funded through the Town budget as the Teen Council chose to establish their own checking account.  This account is overseen by two Town staff members.  Application fees and fund-raising activities have assisted in building the account over the years. The group became a chartered Youth Council with the North Carolina State Youth Councils and began networking with other teens by attending various State Youth Conferences.  By 2003, the group had grown to approximately 150 teens participating in various volunteer opportunities with the Town.  Over the past 9 years, volunteering has become an integral part of Teen Council and membership has increased to over 700 members in 2012-2013. 

 

Teen Council is overseen by a PRCR staff liaison and the Teen Council Executive Board.  The Board meets monthly to make decisions on funding and events.  The Executive Board is made up of ten members that include Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Program Director, three program committee members, a middle school member and the Community Outreach Coordinator.

 

As the council has evolved, the Executive Board made changes in volunteerism requirements to retain membership.  While initially there were no minimum volunteer requirements, the board decided to require 15 hours/year of volunteer service.  If members do not fulfill the requirement at the end of the year; they begin the next year with a negative balance for service hours.  As the membership increased, the volunteer opportunities increased as well.  The staff liaison has reached out to community organizations to provide volunteer opportunities and this has proven to be very successful.   Teen Council volunteers complete over 11,000 volunteer hours annually equating to a cost savings of $200,000.  Teen Council members manage their volunteer hours via a non-town webpage designed to set up individual member accounts, maintain volunteer hours and review opportunities to volunteer. Additionally, there is a process for submitting volunteer hours and keeping their accounts current.  The council is one of the largest councils in the state of North Carolina and one of two that accepts middle school students.

 

Membership and renewals are accepted April to June for each new school year.  The current cost for the first year member is $20/participant and annual renewals are $5/participant. 

 

Discussion:  The funds received by Cary Teen Council result from membership dues, donations, funds-raising events, t-shirt sales and conference hosts.  The Town currently reimburses the Teen Council for staff liaison conference fees and program fees collected by the Town.  Cary Teen Council conducts financial transactions through a checking account with BB&T.  The Herbert C. Young Community Center Supervisor, Assistant Community Center Supervisor and program assistant are listed on the account for check distribution.  The Assistant Community Center Supervisor and program assistant hold debit cards for the account.  Financial transactions require proof of expenditures by receipts or other evidence of disbursement. In addition, deposits and expenditures are recorded monthly for reconciliation and an annual financial review/audit is performed by the PRCR Operations Analyst.

 

Teen Council conducts several fund raising events annually which benefit the local community such as, a dog wash with proceeds donated to Wake County SPCA, a hot dog luncheon for an Angels Among Us donation for a Green Hope High student with cancer, and Santa’s Workshop proceeds to Dorcas Ministries. Other donations include the PRCR Relief for Recreation Scholarship fund, fall youth baseball sponsor and other such public purpose donations.

 

Town staff, including the Finance Department, believes that it is the appropriate time to transfer the financial operations to the Town.  Systems are currently in place that will provide improved efficiencies for staff in managing the operations of Teen Council.   Town Finance staff recommends that accounts be established with existing funds held in the Teen Council bank account that will allow the Teen Council to continue operating.  This assures continuity of operations, continued teen involvement, improved efficiencies, and a high level of accountability. The Teen Council Executive Board has recommended that a non-resident fee be instituted for teen council non-resident members in the amount of $30 for the first year and $10 for each renewal year beginning in 2013.  Below is a summary of the Cary Teen Council revenues and expenses for FY12.

 

Revenue  & Expense Summary FY2012

Revenues

 

Membership & Renewals

$5,997

Donations

$3,090

Conferences

$21,461

Fundraisers

$5,539

Shirt Sales

$749

Town Reimbursement

$3,159

Miscellaneous Revenue

$2,543

Total Revenues

$42,538

Expenses

 

Event Supplies

$7,107

General Supplies

$1,060

Conference Supplies

$4,634

Contracted Services

$20,726

Shirts

$6,650

Donations

$2,530

Miscellaneous Expense

$557

End of Year Picnic and Supplies

$2,767

Total Expenses

$46,031


Fiscal Impact:  The balance of the funds in the Teen Council checking account is approximately $18,000 and is recommended to be recognized by the Town.  Teen Council will continue to work closely with Town staff to plan and conduct its volunteerism and leadership roles. The $9,300 budget will be covered by revenues and will have a $0 fiscal impact for the FY13 budget.

 

Staff Recommendation: 

1.     Approval of incorporating the budgetary and financial administration for Cary Teen Council in the Town budget and accounting system.

2.     Appropriate revenues to be earned in the amount of $9,300 and appropriate the related expense of $9,300 into the Teen Council budget for FY13.

3.     Accept the approximate $18,000 currently in the Teen Council bank account and appropriate to Fund Balance for Teen Council.

4.     Approval of funds disbursement for specific fund raising events held by the Teen Council  as determined  by the Teen Council Executive Board and staff liaison for  public purposes.

5.     Approval of resident first year membership of $20/ per participant and annual renewals of $5/ per participant into the FY13 Town of Cary Fees and Charges. Additionally approve a non-resident fee be instituted for teen council non-resident members in the amount of $30 for the first year and $10 for each renewal year into the FY13 Town of Cary Fees and Charges.