Mayor McGinn announces proposal for city’s community centers

Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw have released a proposal for how next year’s city budget will address funding and operation of the city’s community centers. The proposal divided the city into five service areas, with Ballard grouped into an area with Green Lake, Bitter Lake, Loyal Heights, and Magnolia community centers.

According to Seattle Parks and Recreation spokesperson Dewey Potter, Loyal Heights Community Center and Bitter Lake Community Center are proposed as Service Level 1 centers, Green Lake Community Center as a Service Level 2a center, and Ballard and Magnolia Community Centers as Service Level 2b centers. The service areas were grouped based on the condition of the building and the cost of maintaining it, past use of the building for drop-in use, paid use, rentals, and the number of patrons served by scholarships, according to Potter. A service level 1 center would be open for general use 70 hours per week, a service level 2a center 45 hours, and a service level 2b center 25 hours. That means the Ballard Center can expect to be open 25 hours a week.

Potter said the proposal eliminates 13.63 full time-equivalent jobs, saving $1.23 million and affecting 75 employees. The proposal also calls for public meetings later this year to determine what programming the communities within each service area would like to see at their centers.
If the proposal is accepted by the Seattle City Council, the changes would take effect January 1, 2012. At that point, a service area can determine how to best utilize those hours. For instance, the Bitter Lake center could transfer some hours to the Ballard Center if needed.

The City Council will vote on the proposal before Thanksgiving. You can learn more here.

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