Cincinnati park officials are laying out some drastic changes you could expect this summer if proposed budget cuts are approved by City Council. Fountains could be turned off, lakes could be drained and flower beds could go unplanted.
Ault Park's Facebook page lists more closings that could be considered including the Mt. Airy Dog Park and Disc Golf course, a handful of entire parks, and all park restrooms.
Here's a letter being circulated by one park advocacy group:
Dear Friends of Ault Park,
We want to advise you of an important issue that will affect Ault Park, and all of the Cincinnati Parks.
As you may know, the City of Cincinnati faces a deficit of $35 million, or 9% of its $400 million operating budget. In order to address this deficit, the City is proposing to reduce the Parks funding by more than $1.2 million, or 15% of its $8 million annual budget – a much bigger share than the City’s overall deficit.
In response to this drastic cut, the Park Board has identified cuts to its services, including:
- Closing Alms Park and all, or part, of a dozen other parks.
- Closing all restrooms in all parks.
- Reducing mowing to every 14 to 21 days, from the current 7 – 10 days.
- Reducing trash collection to every 14 to 21 days, from the current daily pickup.
- Eliminating all flower beds throughout all parks.
- Eliminating all funding for Washington Park operation.
If you object to this severe cut to the Parks’ operating budget, you can express your feelings to City Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Other contact information for Council can be found at www.cincinnati-oh.gov/council/contact-us. Please act quickly, as the budget is currently being finalized.
Thank you for your continued support of Ault Park.
Mina Stricklin, President
Ault Park Advisory Council