Seattle's 'Unsustainable' Parks System

As the parks system grows in Seattle, it is becoming more difficult to afford to maintain. One local official calls the system "unsustainable".
March 8, 2011, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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The city is trying to figure out what to do to save it.

"Each new gem means a little skimping elsewhere; a bathroom gets cleaned less often, a ballfield goes unlined. "We're giving with the right hand," says interim Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams, "and taking away with the left."

That's why, with the city swimming in a pool of red ink, the Department of Parks and Recreation eliminated 112 jobs representing 11 percent of its staff, cut hours at community centers, increased fees by almost $1 million, deferred repairs on leaky roofs and shut down programs. The department now uses the $750,000 Environmental Learning Center at Carkeek Park, which attained a gold rating for green buildings, only for rentals."

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Published on Saturday, March 5, 2011 in The Seattle Times
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