Working closely with Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Budget Office (CBO), Seattle Parks and Recreation has put together a package of mid-year 2010 budget cuts that represent a 2% reduction in General Fund spending, while preserving as many services as possible.
Both the Mayor and CBO played an integral role in crafting a plan maintains the many programs that Seattleites rely on, while reducing the overall amount of General Fund money allocated to Parks for 2010. This collaborative process will serve as the model when analyzing the 2011 budget proposal.
Mid-year 2010 budget reductions for Seattle Parks and Recreation, which are necessary because of revenue shortfalls, include:
- Transfer of $.8 million of surplus fund balance from the Park Fund to the General Fund.
- Reduce $0.2 million in our utility budget. Parks has been working to use water, sewer, gas, and electricity more wisely, and these efforts are paying off. Unfortunately, we anticipate that utility rate increases will erase this surplus by 2011.
- Savings of $0.1 million in training and travel funds by following the Mayor’s directive to limit expenditures on these items.
- Holding one position vacant in the Superintendent’s Office and one in the Finance and Administrative Services Division for a total savings of about $0.1 million for the half-year.
- Holding three park maintenance positions vacant in each of eight Park Districts for the last half of 2010. This will save about $0.3 million but will have an impact on our ability to maintain our parks to their current excellent standard. Parks staff are working on ways to test different reduction strategies this summer to identify the models that have the least impact on the public.
- The only facilities that will close or will have their days of operation significantly curtailed are wading pools. For the summer of 2010, Green Lake, Volunteer, Lincoln, Magnuson, and Van Asselt wading pools will be open every day of the week from June 26 through Labor Day. Ten pools will be open three days per week for eight weeks beginning June 26. Ten wading pools will be closed (three for conversion to spray features, two because of adjacent construction, and five because of budget constraints). While this will have an impact on families and children, it will save the City almost $0.2 million.
Adding all these midyear reductions together totals $1.7 million, or about 2% of Parks’ General Fund support.
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