Melissa, who chairs the City Council’s Committee on Parks & Recreation, issued the following statement regarding the budget deal announced between the City Council and the Bloomberg administration and the restorations to our city’s parks. Altogether, the Parks Department’s budget will see an increase of over $37 million from the FY13 Executive Budget presented by the Mayor this past May.
“As we head into the summer months, New Yorkers can rest assured that our city’s parks will not see the severe reductions originally proposed in the Mayor’s Executive Budget for the coming fiscal year. I am thrilled that the City Council was able to work in partnership with the administration to restore tens of millions of dollars in desperately needed funding to our parks. This restoration will keep all our city’s pools open for the entire summer, make sure that our parks stay clean and well maintained and keep New Yorkers employed. In particular, I am relieved that our restorations helped the City to avoid a plan that would convert Job Training Participants (JTPs) to Work Experience Program (WEP) status. The restoration by the Council and the administration will also ensure that our street trees are better maintained by reducing the tree pruning cycle from 20 years to 7 years and will maintain the Council’s Playground Associates initiative which provides supervised recreation at our local playgrounds.
“This incredible restoration would not have been possible without the commitment of my colleagues to supporting our parks. I would especially like to thank Speaker Christine Quinn and Finance Chair Domenic Recchia for prioritizing the Parks Department’s budget to ensure that the Department did not see cuts that would have severely impacted its ability to maintain the parks system that we all love. I would also like to thank the Bloomberg administration, Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the City Council Finance staff and of course all of the advocates and members of the public who stood strong in calling for more resources for our parks.”