Puyallup spares concerts, wading pool from budget cuts to parks

Staff writerMay 9, 2013 

The Puyallup parks department has saved two popular programs after a long and sometimes contentious budget process that involved parks staff members and other city officials.

Parks administrator Sarah Harris said the Pioneer Park wading pool and the popular summer concert series will continue, despite about $147,000 in cuts to the city parks budget.

Weekend hours at the recreation center, originally targeted for cuts in early proposals, won’t be reduced after staff positions were adjusted.

The pool and the concerts also were part of the initial proposal, but Harris said restructuring programs and reducing supply costs allowed the department to salvage both for at least another year.

“We tried to make sure the programs that offered a value to the community were kept intact,” Harris said Thursday.

The wading pool will continue for at least a year, but the parks department is exploring putting a splash pad in its place at some point. Harris said splash pads are safer, require fewer staffers to maintain and allow flexible use for longer periods of time during the year.

The cuts that will go forward include scorekeepers and supervisors for adult sports, two recreation staff positions, a preschool program assistant position, and elimination of a teen program, The Attic.

Additionally, Puyallup will end a summer track partnership with Pierce County, a program the county will continue to sponsor.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Councilman John Hopkins said he was pleased with the progress that was made to reduce costs while maintaining the most valuable programs.

“We’re doing more with less,” he said. “This is a platform for the future.”

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682

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