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Were not alone 

In the research of how Colorado Springs might have to take the "rec" out of its Parks and Rec operation to help balance the city's 2009 budget, we soon discovered that other cities have reached the same, apparently convenient, conclusion:

Phoenix, Ariz., has to cut almost $270 million from its budget in order to balance its general fund, and will approve a new budget plan Feb. 3 that will include sweeping cuts in the city's recreation department. Previous proposals to shutter five senior centers, eliminate after-school programs and reduce hours at recreation centers were met with fierce opposition from residents. The Parks Department has since suggested different cost-saving measures, including closing some swimming pools as well as the after-school programs. (From the Arizona Republic)

Covina, Calif., City Council announced that after September 2008, most of the services provided by its Parks and Recreation Department were being cut. Recreation, aquatic, community programs, community relations and senior services programs ended. The city's recreation centers, aquatic center and teen center were closed but not dismantled, in hopes they could someday be reopened.

In November 2008, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders announced a sweeping package of proposed cuts including closing nine recreation centers and one gym, and eliminating the city's competitive swim team program. (From San Diego Union-Tribune)

Brentwood, Calif., leaders pulled financial support this month for an after-school recreation program provided by the Police Activities League. (From the Contra Costa Times)

Tucson, Ariz., has shortened recreation operating hours, with larger centers closed on Sundays and smaller centers closed Saturdays and Sundays. (From KOLD-TV)

Oneida, N.Y., has cut seasonal recreation department positions, including a skate-park attendant, summer sports camp, and fireworks and community concerts. (From Eagle Newspapers, CNYLink)

In Mesa, Ariz., the parks and recreation department stands to lose 56 full-time positions in the next 19 months, resulting in 957 fewer recreation and aquatics programs. Several swimming pools have been closed, and youth and teen programs cut. The city stopped printing its recreation guide. (From the Arizona Republic)

The Sparks, Nev., parks and recreation department responded to budget cuts by suggesting the closure of the city's two outdoor public pools and marina for the upcoming season. Staff reductions will eliminate recreation programs, including adaptive aquatics and summer playground programs. (From the Reno Gazette-Journal)

In suburban Biscayne Park, Fla., after-school programs, youth day camp and recess programs have been discontinued, and rec-center transportation for all after-school programs has been cut. (Miami Herald)

  • Other cities have been forced to make recreation cuts amid budget-balancing troubles.

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