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Budget Breakdown: Parks Department Looks To Recover City Allocation


The head of Louisville Metro Parks will discuss the department's budget needs this week.

The Metro Council is in the midst of budget discussions and Monday afternoon will hear from Seve Ghose, the head of the parks department.

Each department head is scheduled to appear before the council in the coming weeks.

Mayor Greg Fischer presented his proposed annual spending plan to the council last month. The council will examine the proposal before casting final votes at the end of June.

The city's parks department is slated for more than $26.2 million in city funds under Fischer's proposal.

That's the highest proposed allocation from Fischer since he took office, but it's just above the department's allocation in 2012. Parks department funding was slashed in 2013 and has been slowly increasing since.

The department was established in 1968 and oversees a variety of the city's recreational services, including community centers and sports leagues. The department employs some 400 people who manage more than 12,000 acres of land and 120 city parks, including golf courses and the city's skate park, according to the department website.

The parks department is slated for more than $5 million in capital projects, including a boat ramp in Shawnee Park and walking path improvements in Joe Creason Park.

Fischer is also looking to allocate $275,000 to implement a master plan for Tyler Park and $850,000 to make general repairs to the city's parks.

A WFPL News review of city data in 2015 found that, on average, city parks endure about 100 reports of vandalism each year. From 2010 to 2015, vandalism cost the city nearly $400,000 in repairs. The reports range from damaged toilets to ransacked pools.

Ghose is set to appear before the council's Budget committee Monday at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall in downtown Louisville.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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