Finance Officials Plan to Bailout Parks

The board of Metro Parks meets Friday to approve budget reductions after the department racked up a nearly 1.8-million dollar deficit. City finance officials plan to soften the blow, possibly with reserve funds.

Forcing the Parks Department to lay off employees, close community centers and halt projects mid-year would be too disruptive, says Metro Finance director Rich Riebeling. That’s why he’s recommended a supplemental appropriation.

“Is it unfair? Yes, it’s unfair to the other departments, but it’s a reality and that’s the direction we’re headed.”

The additional money for Parks would require approval of the Metro Council. Riebeling says even with the supplement, some cuts to services may be required.

For full disclosure, Rich Riebeling is a member of the WPLN board of directors.

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