COVID-19 closures cause thousands in lost revenue to parks department

Parks Department loses nearly $140,000 in revenue during pandemic

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - During Tuesday night’s Jonesboro City Council meeting, a report showed that the Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Department lost thousands of dollars in revenue due to COVID-19 closures.

It is estimated that the department lost $140,000 in revenue.

Director Danny Kapales said the reason for the shortfall is a number of things, including not being able to rent out facilities and closing facilities due to COVID-19.

“Basically, a revenue number that we have from rental of ball fields, from rental of community centers, campgrounds, pavilions, and just everything we have within the city of Jonesboro within our parks department that we rent out to local citizens and people who come into Jonesboro,” Kapales said.

He said that money helps maintain all the facilities the department oversees throughout the city.

On a brighter note, he said the shortfall should not impact the department in the short term.

“We started renting out our ball fields last week, so that’s going to help that number come back, but up to that point, we have community centers that have basketball courts, they have rooms we usually rent out to parties, so there have been several items we have not been able to rent due to the virus,” Kapales said.

Some of the campgrounds have reopened at Craighead Forest Park, so that should also help with revenue. Things like pavilions and community centers remain closed.

When asked if the department can make up the shortfall in revenue, Kapales said he and his department will do all they can to make up for the money lost.

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