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Muskego parks budget is never in red, director says

Feb. 20, 2012

Muskego's Parks and Recreation director refuted claims that his department ended 2011 in the red.

In fact, Craig Anderson said his department actually closed the books a little under budget. "We've never been overbudget, departmentally," he said.

The claim was made by speakers at last week's Common Council meeting who argued against the establishment of a park along Little Muskego Lake. The speakers claimed the city couldn't afford to maintain a new park because the department was already overbudget.

Anderson said those speakers might simply misunderstand the department's roughly $1 million budget, which brings in about $500,000 in fees, Anderson said. Those fees were never intended to make the department self-sufficient, he explained.

"We are not set up to be self-sustaining," Anderson said.

Parks are considered a social good, so communities support them, he said. Recreation programs are a different matter - they are part of a more pay-to-play funding structure.

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