City Slashes Parks Budget By More Than $1M

Anderson Parks Budget Cut By 65%

The city of Anderson has slashed its parks budget by more than $1 million in an effort to trim 10 times that amount in spending.

Mayor Kris Ockomon told 6News' Jennifer Carmack that the city needs to cut $10 million from its $34 million budget to stay afloat.

The Anderson Parks Department will have its budget trimmed by nearly 65 percent, from $2 million to $750,000 in 2010, Ockomon said.

That will include laying off a large portion of its 90-person staff, not opening city pools next summer and turning some of the 51 city-maintained properties into green space.

Ockomon said facilities that are self sufficient, like ball fields and Grandview Golf Course, will stay open, along with one park on each side of town.

Residents who live near the parks said they're needed more now than ever.

"Absolutely," said Carman Carmack. "Kids need a place to play."

Ockomon said layoffs will be announced by the end of the week. The city is looking for grant money, as well as partnerships with the private sector, to keep some programs running.