Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Decisions on Laurelhurst Community Center from Friday's City Council Meeting

Jeannie Hale, Laurelhurst Community Club President, sent us email with some key decisions made at the latest City Council Budget meeting held Friday of last week.

The community is still encouraged to send email to City Council with input on the status of the Community Center moving forward. The Council is expected to formally adopt the 2011-2012 Budget on November 22nd at 2pm in a Full Council meeting in City Hall Chambers on the 2nd floor.

Jeannie writes:

Here are the decisions today from the City Council on community center funding. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen made a noble speech about his opposition to converting community center use to office space and converting Laurelhurst to a hub for senior and special population programming.

He had little confidence that the Parks Department had explored enough alternatives for office space in other locations and was sorely disappointed that the Parks Department did NOT involve the community in its decision-making. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said that in the weeks to come, the decisions made today could change. Neighbors should continue to contact councilmembers to preserve programming for our community.

It is still very unclear whether our neighbors will be able to use our center or if the increased hours of 15 per week proposed by the mayor and increased to 30 by the council will be for seniors and special populations or our community.

Decisions from City Council Meeting

Budget Action description: This budget action provides $247,980 in GSF in 2011 to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to: 1) provide 15 hours per week of additional drop-in hours at Queen Anne, Green Lake, Ballard, Laurelhurst and Alki Community Centers; 2) support a part time recreation leader position to staff the increased drop-in hours at Green Lake; and 3) fund the office & equipment space costs for the relocation of the DPR Aquatics staff. In addition, it provides $27,650 in GSF in 2012 for the office and equipment space costs for the relocation of the DPR Aquatics staff that may be required to stay in such space in 2012. Tab Action Option Version 100 1 A 2 2 of 4

The increased Community Center drop in hours shall be in addition to the 15 – 20 hours of drop-in time included in the Mayor’s proposed 2011 and 2012 budget. Council intends that this additional funding will be supplemented by drop- in fees and class surcharges, in order to maximize the additional drop-in hours at these five Limited-Use Community Centers. These additional hours will permit these five Community Centers to be open for public use that includes access to gyms, classrooms, and other appropriate spaces at these centers.

As part of the Mayor’s proposed 2011-2012 budget, the Queen Anne, Green Lake and Ballard Community Centers are proposed to assume Limited-Use status, with drop-in hours reduced to between 15 and 20 hours a week, per Community Center, plus additional Fee-Based Service Hours. The Mayor’s proposal also assumed that 25 DPR staff would be relocated to the Green Lake Community Center as a result of the loss of DPR office space at the South Lake Union Armory.

During the Budget Committee deliberations, Councilmembers requested additional analysis on the proposed Limited-Use service model and the feasibility of increasing drop in hours at the five Community Centers. They additionally expressed concern about relocating 25 staff to the Green Lake Community Center and requested further analysis of options related to this proposal.

Based on further information and analysis the Council, in consultation with the Executive, now proposes to move only nine staff into the Green Lake Community Center. This requires providing funding for paid office space for the Aquatics staff who were originally proposed to move into Green Lake Community Center and under the Council’s proposal will now not be doing so.

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