Budget #YYC: Parks particulars

As city council continues to work through day five of the budget, today brought up some questions about Calgary’s Parks funding.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot wanted to cut one Community Services and Protective Services lifecycle program by more than $2 million, the results of which citizens would notice, said Anne Charlton, director of Parks.

Charlton said the fund is used for “hard materials”, such as paving, tennis courts, a mix of 8,000 benches and picnic tables, 463 back-stops at ball diamonds and 8,000 soccer goal posts among other things.

“These are the things people notice, when benches have splinters,” she said. “Parking lots is something that we are behind on … The Nose Hill parking lots are slated for this funding next year.”

With a response from Ward 8 Coun. Woolley on whether or not the motion would mean cutting Nose Hill Park’s parking lot funding, Charlton said Parks would look at things and available funding would go to highest priorities.

“Parks are important to me and Calgarians, and I think this would send a bad message about how we feel about it,” Woolley said.

Ward 6 Coun. Pootmans asked the consequences of waiting to act on a project, such as a broken picnic table, instead of fixing it at present. Charlton said to replace a seat may cost $40 or $50, while waiting and having to replace the entire table instead would be closer to $450.

In closing, Chabot said what he was proposing was not “doom and gloom” and that he was asking the City live within its means.

“What I’m looking to do is try to minimize the impact today,” he said.

The motion failed, with only Councillors Chabot and Chu voicing support.

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