Park leaders set budget priorities

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board budget will increase 4 percent in 2006, from $49.8 million to $51.7 million, enough to maintain existing services, park leaders say.

The budget will cover an estimated 2 percent wage increase, a health care hike of approximately $600,000, workers' compensation increases of $250,000 and fuel/utility increases of $200,000, according to Don Siggelkow, general manager for administration.

The Park Board met Oct. 26 to give park staff direction in preparing the 2006 budget. Without giving dollar amounts, Park Board members voted to give priority to: adding two gardeners, a forestry crew, athletic fields, forestry, seniors' programs, youth supervision, stump removal, adding back a &#8220Jump In” brochure that notifies people of park programs, and improving water quality efforts.

The Park Board members did not give staff any hints on where it might cut the budget.

The budget timeline is as follows:

– Wednesday, Nov. 16, Superintendent Jon Gurban will present the budget proposal at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N.

– Dec. 7, the Park Board will hold a public input session.

– Dec. 12, the Park Board will take comments as part of the Truth in Taxation hearings held at City Hall.

– Dec. 19, the Park Board will adopt its budget and tax levy at City Hall.

Park leaders set budget priorities

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board budget will increase 4 percent in 2006, from $49.8 million to $51.7 million, enough to maintain existing services, park leaders say.

The budget will cover an estimated 2 percent wage increase, a health care hike of approximately $600,000, workers' compensation increases of $250,000 and fuel/utility increases of $200,000, according to Don Siggelkow, general manager for administration.

The Park Board met Oct. 26 to give park staff direction in preparing the 2006 budget. Without giving dollar amounts, Park Board members voted to give priority to: adding two gardeners, a forestry crew, athletic fields, forestry, seniors' programs, youth supervision, stump removal, adding back a &#8220Jump In” brochure that notifies people of park programs, and improving water quality efforts.

The Park Board members did not give staff any hints on where it might cut the budget.

The budget timeline is as follows:

– Wednesday, Nov. 16, Superintendent Jon Gurban will present the budget proposal at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road N.

– Dec. 7, the Park Board will hold a public input session.

– Dec. 12, the Park Board will take comments as part of the Truth in Taxation hearings held at City Hall.

– Dec. 19, the Park Board will adopt its budget and tax levy at City Hall.