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County Will Continue Operating City Parks under Disaster Budget

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra's "scorched earth" budget for 2005 will have no impact on the recently-implemented city-county parks merger. Last summer, with great fanfare, the county took over the operation and maintenance of city parks. Giambra said that won't change under his disaster budget.

"The city is paying the county of Erie to provide parks services," Giambra said. "As long as the city continues to provide that revenue stream, we'll be able to provide parks services in Buffalo.

"That's the uniqueness of that collaboration between the county and the city. The city pays for the services. No taxpayers in the suburbs are paying for city parks. City parks will continue to have high quality services provided by the county of Erie."

But the news is not as good for the users of county parks and golf courses. Giambra's proposed budget reduces parks funding from $6 million to just under a $1 million. He says there would be no money to maintain the parks. Most parks workers would be laid off.