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The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has heard the public and reversed a budget cut that was particularly aggravating to many residents: The department has reopened the bathrooms in city parks.
However, the reopening of the bathrooms means the city will have less time for other tasks such as mowing and trash pick-up, department spokesman Hindolo Brima said.
The bathrooms in most city parks were shuttered earlier this summer as part of the $8.3 million in budget cuts that the City Council approved for the department in June. But in response to complaints from residents, the department opened the bathrooms Friday.
Jim Combs, director of Parks and Recreation, told the City Council in an Aug. 20 memo that the department was reopening the bathrooms. “The community made it clear that their top priority for park maintenance services is the re-opening and daily availability of our restrooms even if it means further reductions or slowdown in other park maintenance services,” Combs wrote.
Trash picks-up, mowing, blowing, edging and “general park cleanliness” are the tasks that will take a lower priority than maintaining the bathrooms, according to Combs’ memo. “While further reductions in these areas are unfortunate, we feel re-opening the restrooms is the right thing to do,” Combs wrote.
Brima said that maintaining the bathrooms means there will be less time for the above maintenance tasks. But while less time will be available for those tasks, they’ll still be carried out, he said, noting, “It’s not going to mean that the grass is not mowed.”
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.