City budget cuts not a walk in the park

June 21, 2010 8:59:05 PM PDT
The economy is forcing every city in the state to make hard choices.Budgets are seeing serious cuts --whether it's fixing up dog parks or people parks or public pools. Officials say almost $900,000 in parks projects won't get done this year. Most park projects are being taken off the books entirely.

"We can't keep those projects in reserve, because there's no revenue for them," Raleigh City Manager Russell Allen said. "So they essentially have to be defunded."

Officials say it is because they're paid for with facility fees which come from development.

Facility fees not only fund parks, it also pays for road resurfacing as well. In Raleigh, nearly $3.5 million has been taken away from resurfacing projects to use in other parts of the budget.

"This year's budget basically would set us back, basically, a couple years," City Maintenance Engineer Chris McGee said.

McGee says a little over 10 percent of Raleigh roads have a rating under 80, which means they need to be resurfaced. However, less than one percent of those will be.

However, Allen says by letting some projects slide for now, the city won't have to cut major services or jobs this year, but next year could be a different story.

"It is very possible that next year you would start seeing services cut," Allen said.

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