Monroe City Council looks at city parks to trim budget

Monroe City Council looks at city parks to trim budget

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by ANJANETTE FLOWERS / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 7 at 7:01 PM

MONROE, N.C. -- The city of Monroe is looking at ways to trim its budget-- that includes trimming down on some of the equipment at its neighborhood parks. It's an idea that not everyone is happy with.

Monroe resident Lawanda Clyburn says, “It's been here since I was little.  My mother brought me here."

Clyburn is referring to Don Griffin Park in Monroe, a park she's been going to since she was a little girl.

Brian Borne, Monroe Assistant City Manager says spending time at the parks is their family time.

But Lawanda’s family may soon have to find another place to spend that time.

That's because Monroe City Council is looking at ways to cut its budget, which includes removing some of the old equipment-- including playground equipment, From about half of its parks.

“The parks will remain open,” Borne assured, “We'll still be maintaining what's left there, mowing grass, maintaining the equipment that's there. It's just that we'll have less equipment at each park."

Under the plan, the parks they would continue to focus on include: Belk-Tonawanda, Winchester Center, Dickerson Center and Park Williams.

Those not making the cut on the priority list include: Creft, Sunset, Don Griffin and Sutton, along with the Old Armory Building.

“In the total picture, I mean, all nine would cost us almost two-million dollars to totally redo,” Borne says, “Now if we focus on four, we might get that down to a million."

So, what exactly will happen to the parks not on the priority list?

Borne says, “We're not putting a fence up and padlocking the gate." He says some of the equipment just isn't safe.

"It comes down to we have to look out for the public safety, and if it presents a hazard then we have to address it,” Borne explained, “We can't just leave it there."

"I just believe that, leave well enough alone,” Lawanda commented, “You know people's memories mean more than financially trying to put everything even across the board.  Memories are in these parks."

The city says eventually they will replace the old equipment, but it'll take a while.

The plan is still in its early stages and will have to be approved by city council.

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