Parks cuts softer than expected

Friday, November 13, 2009 at 4:16pm

The Metro Parks Board approved budget cuts Friday afternoon that are much less severe than had been anticipated after it became clear that the department was facing a $1.8 million budget deficit.

An early draft of potential cuts had included laying off 55 workers and closing five community centers. Under the current proposal — which must be approved by Metro Council — only five workers would lose their jobs and no community centers, services or programs would be cut. Metro would provide an $850,000 supplemental appropriation that would allow 50 workers to keep their jobs.

Finance Director Richard Riebeling said he did not feel comfortable cutting programs mid-year.

The parks, recreation, cultural and wellness division still must cut $200,000 from its budget. Division Director Paul Widman will be analyzing where those cuts could be made over the next few weeks. He will present his recommendations before the budget cuts are voted on at the Dec. 1 Council meeting.

With only five of seven board members present, the panel voted 4-1 to approve the cuts. James Lawson was the only member to vote against the plan. He said he had heard different numbers from the projected budget and had too many questions to make an informed decision.

6 Comments on this post:

By: frank brown on 11/13/09 at 4:23

I only know what I see with the parks and I could cut 10% out of the budget and never have anyone miss it.

By: titansjoe on 11/13/09 at 10:55

By all means Frank, please share your secrets

By: govskeptic on 11/13/09 at 11:33

Riebling never feels like cutting anything, and the Mayor has
no control over his departments. Just how many millions
is hidden in this government to cover incompetence?

By: Kosh III on 11/16/09 at 7:12

Yes Frank. Please specify what you would cut.

By: dogmrb on 11/16/09 at 9:27

Every organization has five people that "are not in their best vocation". This is an opportunity if the right people are "let go".

By: tdterry1999 on 11/16/09 at 4:49

I knew it.They always cry wolf