2009-05-15 / Letters

No Funding For Parks

Dear Editor,

Last week Mayor Bloomberg released the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2010. Unfortunately, funding for the Parks Department has reached a five-year low point, with the agency receiving only $256 million. This year's and last year's budget cuts to Parks total 9%. Consecutive cuts like this haven't been seen since 1991-1992.

Here are the numbers:

The Parks Department budget is down $13 million since last year and $24 million since 2008.

The seasonal staffing program, which provides extra maintenance staff during the busy summer Letters months has been cut by $10 million and will be further reduced by $5.6 million. Hopefully lifeguard positions won't be affected by the budget cuts.

Tree pruning has been reduced by a total of $3.5 million ($1 million beyond the Preliminary budget) - while New Yorkers and the City have planted more than 200,000 new trees in the last two years.

109 staff positions will not be filled and, unfortunately, the projections for next year are looking even worse.

I call on the Mayor to restore the cuts that he has made to the Parks Department in the Preliminary Budget for FY 2010.

FRANK GULLUSCIO

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