Endowment fund set up for future of Merrill?s parks
The Merrill Park Endowment Fund has been established as a way for people to donate toward future improvements to Merrill’s parks. With declining state shared revenues, tax levy limits and generally tighter government budgets, the endowment fund provides a different way to pay for recreation projects.
“It will be nice to build the endowment fund and not have to rely so heavily on tax dollars, said Merrill Park and Recreation Director Dan Wendorf.
“This foundation is set up and designed to give us another avenue to fund projects that in the future we would not be able to,” he said. “This is a neat opportunity for people to donate to the present and future health of the parks here in the ‘City of Parks’.”
Many other cities’ park and recreation departments have had foundations set up for years, Wendorf noted.
The fund is professionally managed through the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, and was set up two years ago as a joint effort of the Park and Recreation Department and the Merrill Community Foundation.
“We just got it set up right before the tornado, so it kind of took a back burner,” Wendorf said. “We’re trying to promote it a little more now.”
The proceeds from the Lincoln Lager Barley Fest went to the fund last year and a fun run is planned for August to also benefit the fund.
The money from the fund cannot be used for salaries or departmental operating expenses, but only for physical improvements and new programs that benefit the community as a whole.
Donations can be given to the endowment fund with stipulations that the money be used for specific projects.
Tax deductible donations can be made in person at the Park and Recreation office at the Smith Center or online by following the Merrill Park Endowment Fund link at www.merrillparkandrec.com.