Plans to close park just rumors

Parks department is preparing for cuts, but rumors to close Discovery Park are unfounded

Rest at ease anyone who may have heard rumors last week that Discovery Park may close under the strain of citywide budget cuts.

Seattle Parks and Recreation unequivically denied any hint at the park's closure despite rumors to the contrary.

"There are no budget proposals about that," said Parks spokesperson, Dewey Potter of Discovery Park. "Everything we do will be under the microscope."

While there are no plans to close the park, the department is assessing how it can trim its budget as Seattle figures out how to overcome a projected $50 million shortfall in revenue. Mayor Mike McGinn will make a request to all city departments, including parks, to make cuts in an effort to eliminate debt.

"At the end of April, the city gives a target for reductions and we'll submit a budget that reflects those reductions," Potter said. She said the department is trying to identify criteria on what should be saved and she expects to have that data in a few weeks. She said free services such as wading pools and parks are not on the priority list. Wading pools, popular among families in Queen Anne and Magnolia, are not expensive to operate because they are seasonal and workers are part time.

Potter doesn't know how much of a budget the Parks department will be given, but, she said, with the city projecting a $50 million shortfall, "it will be grim, I can tell you that."[[In-content Ad]]