FY 2021-22 Budget

The Recreation Services Department provides programs, activities and events for Colma residents of all age groups ranging from youths to seniors at two park facilities: Colma Historical Park & Community Center and Sterling Park. Program elements include: Fitness, Enrichment, Special Events, Cultural Events, Sporting Events, Trips and Community Events. It is the goal of the Recreation Services Department to offer a balanced program ensuring all elements are offered to all age groups throughout the fiscal year.

Recreation program fees are subsidized using a system that provides a greater discount for programs that serve the community versus programs that serve the individual. The policy-based system was approved by the City Council in 2011 and the Department has typically recovered 12%-14% of department costs, including the recreation facilities maintenance budgets. In FY 2020-21, the Department is projected to recover 8% of department costs, including the recreation facilities maintenance budgets. The lower cost recovery rate is due to the Covid-19 pandemic and reduced revenues.

The Department has experienced an increase in program participation every year beginning in FY 2012-13. The increase is attributed to more in-house activities and community-based programming, ensuring opportunities for all populations. In FY 2020-21, staff had to alter traditional recreation programming and moved to an online and virtual platform with a few drive-through special events. Traditional recreation program participation suffered but online and virtual program participation did much better than expected.

The 2017-2019 and 2020-2022 Strategic Plans call for the coordination and implementation of more community-based programming and additional recreation opportunities for the Teen population. Over the last few years, the Department has developed the following community-based programs and Teen activities: Halloween House Decorating Contest, Holiday House Decorating Contest, Super Bowl Party, Summer Concert Series, Friday Night Lights, Teen Center hours at Sterling Park, Teen L.E.Y.P program, Colma Community Fair and Bike Rodeo, Cinema at the Cemetery, Parol Lantern Workshop, Annual Holiday Tree Lighting, and Día De Los Muertos Festival. During the Covid-19 pandemic a lot of the above mentioned programs were cancelled and new online programming was developed.


The staffing for this Department includes one Recreation Manager, two Recreation Coordinators, 3.5 FTE in part-time Facility Attendants and 4.0 FTE in part-time Recreation Leaders. In FY 2020-21, the Recreation Manager position was frozen due to Covid-19, however FY 2021-22 supports the hiring of the Recreation Manager position.


During FY 2020-21, the Recreation Services Department:
  • Received Age Friendly City Status in September 2020;
  • Hosted modified and Covid-19 safe Tree Lighting event, Dia De Los Muertas Altar event, and Drive through Halloween and Holiday events'
  • Converted day camp program to take home day camp program activity kits;
  • Provided online events for senior population and community;
  • Hosted multiple Blood Drives with the Red Cross and Stanford Blood Center;
  • Partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo County delivering food to populations in need;
  • Provided take-home Parol Lantern Kits; and,
  • Hosted Colma Wonderland.

COVID Response

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Shelter in Place Orders, the Recreation Services Department had to transition from providing in person services to a virtual, online, take home and drive thru recreation service provider. For a period of time picnic areas, outdoor workout equipment, and the basketball court were closed and the recreation facilities were closed for rentals since April 2020. Facility rentals for indoor, in-person gatherings may not be available until late Fall or Winter of 2021, pending updated Shelter in Place Orders for gatherings.

During FY 2020-21, the Recreation Services Department began offering an array of online programs and remote activities for the community, some of those programs were:
  • Community online Bingo and Trivia,
  • Remote Armchair Travel,
  • Take Home Parents Night Out,
  • Senior Breakfast Bingo,
  • Delivered Senior Lunches,
  • Take Home afterschool and day camp craft kits, and
  • Online homework assistance

The Recreation Department also partnered with the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo County delivering to over 100 households once to twice a month throughout the year.

Future Objectives

For FY 2021-22, the Recreation Services Department will:

  • Continue working on Age Friendly Cities initiatives;
  • Coordinate the annual Town Picnic and Adult Holiday Event, if permitted;
  • Attempt to provide the same service level (offer the same number of programs and meet participation levels) as FY 2019-20;
  • Continue to develop and offer more community based and teen programming including;
    • Cinema in the Cemetery Movie Series;
    • Dia De Los Muertos festival in collaboration with a local cemetery;
    • Continue collaboration with Colma Police Department L.E.Y.P.;
  • Covid-19 permitting, open recreation facilities for facility rentals and indoor programming
  • Offer modified in-person Day Camp and Afterschool programs; and,
  • Increase overall customer service rating of 9.5 out of 10 from FY 2019-20.

Revenue Summary

The FY 2021-22 Recreation revenues budget is $84,000. As shown in the table below, Recreation revenues from charges and rental Recreation operation are insufficient to fund total operating expenditure of $1.02 million. General Fund revenues supports the remaining $932,000 of operating expenditure.

Expenditure Summary

The Recreation Program budget for FY 2021-22 is $1.02 million, or $528,000 more than the FY 2020-21 Estimated Actual. The main reason for the increase is related to the restoration to pre-Covid pandemic service levels. To address the Covid-19 pandemic financial crisis in FY 2020-21, the Town froze the vacant Recreation Manager position ($131,000), limited use of part-time staff ($69,000), reduced contributions to the Town's 115 Trust to reduce OPEB and pension cost ($54,000), canceled community events ($83,000), halted the vehicle replacement contribution ($13,000), and reduced other recreation services ($170,000).

The FY 2021-22 Recreation budget restored all the programs and services cut as part of the Covid-19 pandemic response and it also includes increases to benefit cost and accrued leave payout contribution ($21,000).

Expenditure by Categories

Expenditure by Fund

The Recreation operating expenditures is part of the General Fund operation.

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