Staffing limits frustrate parks

first_imgThe Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Department is brainstorming ideas on crafting a more comprehensive volunteer program that might include allowing groups to “adopt a park,” and provide opportunities ranging from one-time events to long-term positions for skilled retirees.In a department snapshot provided to the Vancouver City Council Monday, Parks and Recreation Director Pete Mayer noted that his department sustained $670,000 in cuts in 2009 alone — and as the city looks to trim about $10 million from its 2011 general fund pot, he’s expecting further reductions.Still, he said, the city can’t expect to solve its parks problem by relying on volunteers alone. The department needs a balanced work force of skilled full-time workers, volunteers, inmate crews and contracts with private companies, Mayer said.While the department cut maintenance costs for neighborhood parks by 15 percent last year, it cost $3,093 per acre to maintain a neighborhood park. Larger community parks cost $3,717 an acre to maintain in 2009.“We’re engaging on how we can pursue a more aggressive volunteer program while respecting our labor unions,” he said.Parks Planning and Development Manager Jane Tesner Kleiner said she hopes to unveil a reworked program in 2011, but that some changes will begin soon.last_img

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