Mpls. Park and Rec. Board Faces Possible Funding Changes

Updated: 11/28/2012 8:59 PM By: Beth McDonough

Crucial funding changes could be in the works for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.  It's going to affect kids and families.

That's because some programs could be reduced, even eliminated, if taxes aren't raised.

It's an either/or proposition the Park Board shared at a public meeting Tuesday night.

Before the meeting, parents like Melissa Gould, shared their concerns with us.

Every Wednesday, for two hours, she brings her son Martin to Lyndale Farmstead Park Center to play with other toddlers in her East Harriet neighborhood.  Gould enjoys the safe and warm environment.

Gould and other parents playing at the park cringe at the thought the weekly field trip could be history.  That includes Pauline Lopez, who says,  "it's a great place for children to come and really convenient for me and close to where I live."

Programs at six recreation centers could be trimmed:  Lyndale Farmstead, Kenny, Corcoran, Bracket, Audubon Northeast and Morris.  The hours at each could be cut in half from 28 per week, to 14 hours per week, saving the board a total of $88,000 a year.

The Park Board President, John Erwin, told us a zero-percent tax levy isn't an option.  He supports a tax increase, the question is how much?  He proposes a 1.7% tax levy.  That's an amount he says will keep the programs intact and pay for park repairs.  Erwin also maintains this particular park board has increased taxes less than any other park board in the last 40 years.

Board Members will vote on the proposed tax levy in a couple of weeks.