VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 81. November 30, 2006
Kenneth R. Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs,
projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken
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ADOPTED PARKS BUDGET FOR 2007-2008
Last week, the City Council approved the final 2007 and 2008 budget for
the City, totaling $1.6 billion.
For those of you interested in the numbers, the Seattle Parks and Recreation
operating budget totals $117.5 million for 2007 and $122.6 million for
2008. For the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), the budget figures are
$67.3 million for 2007 and $29.2 million for 2008. The CIP includes improvement
projects for parks and park facilities, and new construction. The complete
adopted budget will be available online early next year at www.seattle.gov/financedepartment.
Of course the real story lies behind the numbers. In the two previous
editions of "The View" I focused on the City Council's reductions
to the Mayor's Proposed Budget. The budget as adopted by the City Council
preserves and sustains our core services, programs and projects; funds
maintenance and operations for new parks and park facilities brought online
in 2007-2008; and provides significant new investment in capital improvements,
ensuring the best possible parks and recreation system for Seattle residents
Following are some of the highlights of both the operating and CIP budgets.
Center City Parks Initiatve:
Othello Park playground
Center City Parks Initiative: While the City Council cut funding
for the Park Rangers security aspect of this initiative, new funding for
programming was approved, providing $150,000 per year to support expanded
programming for our major downtown parks. This money will help pay for
the creation of fun and engaging programs, activities and events, attracting
workers, residents, and visitors. See CIP item on City Center parks below.
Southeast Playground Program: Funding was restored to this popular
drop-in summer program for school-age children at five sites in Southeast
Seattle: Othello, Brighton, Maplewood, Judkins and Pratt parks ($52,750
in '07 and $54,576 in '08). Free sack lunches are also provided at these
Utility Conservation: The Council approved a new utility conservation
program. This program will allow Parks to better manage our utility accounts
and implement strategic conservation efforts. For instance, we will add
staff to manage the more than 400 irrigation systems in our parks. Other
funding will pay for the purchase of fuel-saving equipment. (Totals: $390,000
in '07 and $211,000 in '08). Also, the CIP includes $346,000 in '07 and
$305,000 in '08 for investments in utility conservation measures.
Strategic Business Plan: The Mayor and Council funded the preparation
of a strategic business plan, focusing on what we will and won't fund
when the 2000 Pro Parks Levy ends in 2008 ($250,000 in '07). There will
be a significant public participation process during 2007. I'll write
more about this soon.
We were fortunate to receive substantial funding for the many improvements
that are needed to maintain and enhance the precious assets that make
up your park and recreation system.
Major Maintenance: This work will help us maintain our aging infrastructure
at many locations throughout the parks system ($9.7 million in '07 and
$9.9 million in '08).
Center City Parks Improvements: Various physical improvements
for Freeway, Westlake and Hing Hay parks ($1.5 million in '07 and $1.4
million in '08). Most of this is for Freeway Park. For more information,
please see www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/FreewayPark.htm
Community-Initiated Projects: Funding helps complete improvements
at High Point Neighborhood Center, Danny Woo Community Garden, Colman
Shelterhouse, Magnuson Park 65th St. entry, and Longfellow Creek Trail
($1.0 million in '07).
Ballfield Lighting and Turf: Consistent with our Joint Athletic
Facilities Development Plan, we will upgrade lighting at a number of fields,
replace the turf at Queen Anne Bowl, convert sand fields to synthetic
turf and upgrade lighting at Washington and Hiawatha playfields, and start
the planning for the conversion of Miller Playfield from sand to artificial
turf ($2.5 million for '07 and $8.3 million for '08).
Seattle Partnership: The Mayor and Council approved an expansion of
the Green Seattle Partnership by providing $500,000 in 2007 and $1 million
2008. This will allow us to significantly increase reforestation work
in partnership with the Cascade Land Conservancy and Seattle Public Utilities.
We continue efforts to replace cut trees at a 2:1 ratio in parks and the
remove "invasive" plants from natural areas.
Moorages: Renovation work will improve the service and safety
for boaters at the Lakewood and Leschi moorages ($2 million in '07).
Zoo Parking Garage: The 2007 CIP includes funds to finance the
construction of the Woodland Park Zoo parking garage in collaboration
with the Woodland Park Zoological Society.
Northgate Park and Ride Lot: The CIP also provides funding for
the acquisition of the Northgate Park and Ride property (located north
of Target), and funds to begin planning for the park's development.
I will be in touch soon.