Betty Jean Grant - District 7
APRIL 28, 2008
COUNTY LEGISLATURE APPROVES HIRING SEASONAL WORKERS TO KEEP CITY PARKS OPEN TO END OF YEAR
The Erie County Legislature overwhelmingly voted to create seasonal positions in the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to keep the county parks in the City of Buffalo open through the end of 2009 at its April 23 session.
The County Legislature approved a deal with the City of Buffalo in which the city will pay Erie County about $4.4 million through the end of the year, which will allow the county to hire 120 seasonal workers to keep the city parks and pools open through December 31, 2009. The Buffalo Common Council is expected to vote on the agreement next week.
"I am glad to see that Erie County and the City of Buffalo recognize the importance of keeping the city parks open and that the Legislature approved the agreement," County Legislature Chair Lynn M. Marinelli (D-Buffalo, Tonawanda) said. "The city is rightly increasing the amount it pays Erie County to operate and maintain the parks, up to $4.4 million for 2009 after annually paying $1.8 million."
"With spring having arrived and summer on its way, the parks are ratcheting up for their peak seasons, so the timing is optimal for us to approve the agreement," County Legislator Daniel M. Kozub (D-Lackawanna, Buffalo) said. "The seasonal workers that will be hired will be lifeguards, supervising lifeguards, pool filter operators, a cashier and park helpers."
"The city parks have not been funded like the assets that they are, and I am pleased that they are now going to receive that funding," County Legislature Majority Leader Maria R. Whyte (D-Buffalo) said. "All parties involved in reaching this deal to keep the city parks open through the end of the year and funding the workers to operate and maintain the parks should be commended."
"The city parks are a vital part of many neighborhoods, especially throughout the summer, when children are out of school and looking for places to be where they can relax and have fun," County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams (D-Buffalo, 3rd District ) said. "That is one reason why this action by the Legislature makes sense."
"The parks are very important to my district in South Buffalo, The Old First Ward, The Valley, Kaisertown, Lovejoy and Seneca-Babcock, and they deserve to be staffed and funded," County Legislator Timothy M. Kennedy (D-South Buffalo) said. "These parks and facilities are important resources for our community and I applaud the City of Buffalo for working with the county to keep these parks open. People who live in the City of Buffalo deserve that their parks receive the attention that they need to keep them beautiful. This agreement will enhance the quality of our parks and ensure that the proper amount of manpower is dedicated to those parks to meet those needs."
"We have a responsibility to provide those services that our constituents believe are important and should be funded by their municipalities," County Legislator Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo, 7th District) said. "My constituents have been loud and clear that they believe the city parks should be open and staffed."
The Olmsted Parks Conservancy will continue operating the parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
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