The Dallas parks department, along with all the others under the umbrella of “quality of life,” took severe budget cuts in 2008.
Now that the city is working with its biggest budget in history — $2.81 billion — Parks and Recreation would receive a $3.2 million increase in the proposed 2014-2015 proposed budget. Some of that money would go toward increasing hours at rec centers.
Exall Park Recreation Center would get three hours more per week on it s schedule, but it would still be one of six recreation centers that is closed on Saturdays. Its new hours would be 10 a.m.- 7-p.m. Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 2:30-6:30 p.m. Friday.
Harry Stone Recreation Center is one of many that would be open until 5 p.m. on Saturdays instead of closing at 2. The new hours would be 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-7 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-5 pm. Saturday.
The Ridgewood-Belcher Recreation Center would be open five more hours a week. The proposed new hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
The Samuell Grand Recreation Center’s proposed new hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
Parks department chief Willis Winters told City Council last week that the department learned to do more with less after the budget cuts. Each rec center director is in charge of two centers, for example.
Winters also found $35,000 in the budget to provide wireless internet service to all rec centers that didn’t already have it.
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