Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Laurelhurst Community Center Could Close if Mayor's Proposed 2011 Budget is Approved - Give Feedback Now

Yesterday Mayor McGinn released his proposed budget for 2011 containing severe impacts to neighborhoods services, Community Centers and City services.

Laurelhurst Community Center will be greatly impacted by perhaps closing in January if the proposal is approved by City Council in December. The Cocmmunity Center was renovated in 2007 adding 4,150 square feet.

In the Mayor's proposal, operating hours at the Community Center and others in the city, will be greatly reduced, cutting out a huge amount of classes and special neighborhood events currently offered to all ages at the Laurelhurst Community Center.

The plan calls for drop-in hours at the Laurelhurst Community Center to be reduced from 53 hours per week during the school year and 46 hours per week in the summer to just 15 to 20 hours per week year round.

Kathleen Turner, Presidentof the Laurelhurst Community Center Advisory Council, forwarded to us a letter sent to the Advisory Concil from Dena, the Recreation Coordinator, for the Community Center: :

 If the proposal is approved through City Council, our community Center will be closed as of January 4th 2011.

As part of the plan, Laurelhurst community center would be operated with limited hours by Senior Adult Recreation and Specialized programs. The community center would be used to provide programs mainly to senior adults. Currently these programs take place at a variety of community centers throughout the city.

It is unclear what the full impact will be however my understanding is that the community center would no longer serve adults, kids and families. Special events would no longer take place here. There would be some availability for both drop in basketball and possibly pottery classes. There would be efforts made to relocate classes for adults and kids as well as youth sports leagues at neighboring community centers.
The community center staff positions here will be abrogated. Based on each employees level of seniority they would either be transferred to another location or be laid off beginning January 4th.
Laurelhurst has been a wonderful community to work in.  I’ve had a great time here getting to know neighbors through programs and special events.
In other budget cuts, the Northeast Library operating hours look as if they will remain the same as this year as the budget states: "The library is making 8.5 percent in cuts yet keeping all current hours of operation at 2010 levels by restructuring management of branches. A systemwide closure first instituted in 2009 will continue in 2011."

However daily library fines will increase.

Regarding wading pools in the immediate area - Magnuson will be open 7 days a week during the summer months, Dahl 3 days a week and ViewRidge and Ravenna will remain closed.

The Mayor has also proposed big changes to public parking. The hourly rate on parking meters would increase by by $1.50 per hour downtown and $0.50 in neighborhoods and other parts of the city.

Paid parking hours would extend by two hours until 8 p.m. in the evenings Monday through Saturday. And there would be paid parking on Sundays from 11am to 6pm.

The public is invited to give input to voice thoughts and concerns in several different ways:

Three Public hearings:
Wednesday, September 29

Northgate Community Center Gym
10510 5th Ave NE, 98125
5 p.m. Sign-in, 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing

Wednesday, October 13
The Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College
6000 16th Avenue SW, 98106
5 p.m. Sign-in, 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing

Tuesday, October 26
Seattle City Hall
Council Chambers, 2nd floor
600 Fourth Avenue, 98104
5 p.m. Sign-in, 5:30 p.m. Public Hearing

Visit Ideascale Page:
Share, comment and vote for ideas on how to balance the budget, with the most essential ideas rising to the top. Feedback is  continuously reviewed and most popular ideas are responded to.

Submit your though using the Online Comment Form:
Emails received will be tallied and shared with each Councilmember to keep them updated on issues important to the community.

A City Council news release said:
The City of Seattle faces a $67 million general fund deficit for 2011, meaning there are some very difficult budget decisions to be made in the months to come.  As the City Council works to balance the Seattle's 2011-2012 budget, considerable input from residents is needed to develop a budget that best reflects the needs of our city.

The total 2011 General Fund budget proposed is $888 million, which is $13.7 million smaller than the 2010 adopted budget. The total proposed budget for 2011 is $3.9 billion.  Under the mayor’s budget, the Parks Department will absorb $8.1 million in reductions.

The City Council will discuss the proposed budget October and most of November as well as the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Both must be approved and adopted no later than December 2nd according to Washington State law.

The full 2011 proposed budget can be found here.


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