Today, Mayor Jenny Durkan is releasing her 2022 Proposed Budget. Although Seattle was the first epicenter of COVID-19, our City has led the nation in response to the pandemic with the lowest cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of every major city. We have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, which is key to our City’s recovery. While our revenue needs still far outpace our resources, we will be able to direct significant Federal money to helping the families and businesses the pandemic has left behind.
The Mayor’s 2022 budget prioritizes investments that will help Seattle build back better. Our Seattle Rescue Plan is a roadmap for an equitable and just recovery from the greatest challenge Seattle has faced in our lifetimes.
This year the Mayor’s 2022 budget for Seattle Parks and Recreation reflects our priorities to recover our organization while supporting the recovery of the communities we serve, realigning resources to support our commitment to equity, addressing capital project funding gaps, and further support the City’s response to encampments and our goals to keep parks and streets clean, safe, and accessible.
Before we delve into 2022 investments, it’s important to mention that SPR took over $20M in capital reductions in 2020 due to the pandemic across the Park District and Real Estate Excise Tax
s (REET) funds. The City’s 2021 budget also reduced our budget by over $11 million, which was on top of an $11 million loss in revenue and $19.3 million reduction in Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) funds. These reductions had the greatest impact to major maintenance and capital projects, and left staff, partners, and communities across Seattle deeply disappointed.
As our City recovers, our department is grateful to be able to restore $7.7 million of the funds reallocated from the Park District and put those funds toward our equity goals and keeping several capital projects moving toward completion. Additionally, SPR ultimately did not need to utilize all the Park District Funds pulled to cover our budget reductions, and we are committed to use the leftover to add funding toward capital projects. And finally, the 2022 proposed budget restores almost $23 million in REET funds to go towards major maintenance, ADA projects, and other significant capital improvement projects.
The following is a summary of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s key changes in the 2022 Proposed Budget:
- $5M commitment toward the future renovation of Lake City Community Center
- $1M to create new Workforce Equity positions
- $3.5M to restore funding for landbanked site development
- $16.7M for major maintenance, ADA projects, and emerging projects
- $1.25M for the Major Projects Challenge Fund to ensure completion of the two remaining projects: Green Lake Small Craft Center and South Park Community Center Campus projects
- $1.5M for Outdoors for All for redevelopment of Building 18
- Over $800K for Municipal Energy Efficiency Projects
- $3M toward Pier 58 replacement
- Make our piloted Rec N’ the Streets program a regular SPR recreation offering (through reallocating O2 program and Laurelhurst Community Center operations)
- $300k to begin to transition the Major Projects Challenge Fund to a new Community Response and Equitable Park Development Fund that will better engage and support community with their park-related needs
- $2.8M to continue Clean City programs through August 2022 with one-time Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFR)
- Over $900K for security support with beach closures, teen Late Night, and enforcing park code compliance
- $900K to support litter removal and storage of belongings from encampments
- $2M toward site restoration of parks impacted by encampments
NEXT STEPS AND COMMUNICATION ABOUT BUDGET
Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s the proposed budget. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Monday, November 22. More information about details in the budget can be found at www.seattle.gov/budget, and you can also direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.