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The Kanawha City Council decided to table a request made by the town's summer recreation program director for city funding for its summer recreation program, bleachers and pay for extra coaches and helpers until more information was received.

Program director Nikki Riedesel said she has approximately 35 kids this year in the T-ball program and on the first day she needed both of her sisters to help with the program and to supervise the kids.

“I have a lot of little kids, like from preschool to kindergarten kids, and they need some extra supervision just to keep the ones that aren’t doing things contained and not running rampant, so I’ve been needing to pull a lot more people in, which is a good problem to have,” she said.

In the past, last year’s program director D.J. Martinez asked businesses for donations and then put up advertisement signs in the park for the businesses donating to the program.

Since the program is ran by the city, Riedesel said she didn’t want to go to the businesses and ask for donations. But last year, Martinez used the donated money for the end-of-the-year pizza party for all of the kids.

“I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it this year,’” Riedesel said. “But I don’t want to do it next year because I do a lot with the youth activity and then I go around and try to ask for donations for that…and I’m a little embarrassed because I’m always the one asking people for money.”

So far, Riedesel estimated businesses have donated $600 through the $100 donation option, and she said she had been telling the businesses to write their checks out to the city because she doesn’t want to handle the big checks. However, Mayor Nancy Litch said the city has yet to receive any $100 checks.

Councilman Ray Bassett said the funds for the pizza party will not come out of the taxpayer’s money.

“That’s what it boils down to,” he said.

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City administrator Sharon Grimm said the city can’t provide funding for a pizza party, especially not with taxpayer money.

“I think the auditor would frown on it if we used taxpayer money to buy pizza,” she said.

Kids pay $10 registration to play T-ball, which all goes back to the summer rec program for things like mowing the field.

“The registration doesn’t cover much,” Grimm said.

Riedesel said this is the only program the city does for the children of Kanawha.

“When you think about programs, this is the only thing,” she said.

Grimm suggested giving Riedesel whatever she comes up with as the price for the pizza party through a wage increase.

This method was suggested because directly paying for the party would be illegal, but if they gave it to Riedesel as a wage, then Riedesel could pay for the party herself.

At the next city council meeting, Riedesel will give the council her pizza party estimate and all information pertaining to her expenses and how much more help she will need for the program, with the council members making a decision regarding wage.

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