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News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 41. September 18, 2003
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
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Dear Friends of Parks and Recreation,

This is to provide you some information about Mayor Greg Nickels’ proposed 2004 budget for Parks and Recreation. The good news is that in 2004 we will continue to implement the two levies approved by Seattle voters in 1999 and 2000 - the $36 million Community Center Levy and the $198.2 million Pro Parks Levy.

With funding from the 1999 Community Center Levy, in 2004 we will open new or expanded community centers at High Point, Jefferson Park, the International District/Chinatown, Sand Point Magnuson, and Yesler.

We have finished 28 of 140 Pro Parks Levy projects, including Shelterhouse improvements, playfield renovations, development of small parks, acquisition of new open space and neighborhood parks, path and trail improvements, community gardens, and off-leash areas. We anticipate completing 25 more in 2004.

As Mayor Nickels announced today, we will restore Green Lake so it can be enjoyed for recreational uses by completing a $1.5 million alum treatment of the water, which will help keep the lake free of algae blooms that have made the water unsafe for use much of the past two summers.

At South Lake Union Park, $600,000 of capital funding, matched by $375,000 from the Shoreline Park Improvement Fund, will enable us to make the Wharf at South Lake Union accessible to the public by mid-year. We will also begin restoration of the Emma Schmitz seawall in West Seattle and develop a neighborhood park in the 12th Avenue neighborhood in the Central Area.

But the city is facing a $24 million shortfall, and all departments have been asked to make cuts. Here is how we plan to make those reductions.

By making administrative reductions and finding other efficiencies, we will receive funding to operate and maintain the new or expanded centers and parks.

Reductions will come from delays in the opening dates for some new facilities, reducing programs at two community center “annexes,” cutting a minimum amount of targeted park and facility maintenance services, reducing personnel and other administrative staffing, reducing the size of the summer wading pool program, reducing the number of city funded regattas, eliminating one planner who manages neighborhood matching fund projects and cutting training funds.

We also anticipate increased revenue from Aquarium and swimming pool admissions, higher event fees, and South Lake Union programs, and savings from energy-efficient lighting at the Tennis Center and six community centers.

I fully support the Mayor’s direction on the 2004 budget; he will present the budget to the City Council at 2 p.m. Monday, September 29 in the Council Chambers.

I will be in touch.

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