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Seattle Parks and Recreation
THE VIEW FROM DENNY PARK
News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 81. November 30, 2006
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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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 and visitors.

Following are some of the highlights of both the operating and CIP budgets.

Freeway Park
Center City Parks Initiatve:
Freeway Park
Othello Park Playing
Othello Park playground

OPERATING BUDGET

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 sites.

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.

CIP BUDGET

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).

Green Seattle PartnershipGreen 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.

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