There is a potential budget crisis looming for Tower Grove Park. The City’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment has reduced the Park’s budget for the fiscal year, starting July 1, down to $684,450. In Fiscal Year 2009, it was $750,000 and it was reduced to $715,000 and $694,450 the past two years. The Park says it can manage with the reduced amount, although it will be difficult. But now as the budget is going through the Ways and Means Committee of the Board of Alderman, there have been indications of an effort to slash even more funds from Tower Grove Park. The Park cannot afford any further cuts and we must work to protect the already reduced budget.
There may be some confusion about the budget numbers because in the City budget there is only one line for Tower Grove Park and that is $684,450. That amount supports all services, wages, programs, and expenses for the Park all year. And it is only part of what the Park needs; the rest is raised from donations and fees. While this only represents about one third of the Tower Grove Park budget, it is critical in order for the Park to maintain it’s current level of service and benefit to the community. Other City parks have many of their needs such as mowing, trash collection, maintenance, etc., covered by pooled Parks Department funds and so only part of their needs are covered by individual line items. In other words when other parks are listed with a number that is smaller than Tower Grove’s it is not really comparable. In fact, Tower Grove actually needs more funds than the E&A budget provides, but the neighborhood and the Park can live with it.
While many of us consider Tower Grove Park to be our neighborhood park, the fact that it is only one of four parks on the National Historic Register and that over 2 million people visited the park in 2010, indicate that it is a treasure for the entire City and region and should be maintained as such. We have all seen how the Park has improved in recent years, thanks to hard work and help from many donors, volunteers, and supporters. It would be catastrophic for the Board of Aldermen to pull the rug out from under us now.
Please contact your alderperson right away and let them know that we cannot accept any further cuts in Tower Grove Park’s budget. The issue is moving quickly. Pass this information on to your friends and neighbors so that they can help contact their alderperson. Listed below are the members of the Ways & Means Committee and contact information for the Tower Grove East alderpersons.
Thank you for your support of Tower Grove Park and your help in keeping it the wonderful neighborhood asset that it is.
Bill Gilbert Larry McCarthy
TGE resident TGE resident
Tower Grove East Alderpersons
- 6th Ward Kacie Starr Triplett 314-324-7248 email@example.com
- 8th Ward Steve Conway 314-773-4329 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9th Ward Ken Ortmann 314-776-0161 email@example.com
- 15th Ward Jennifer Florida 314-622-3763 firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Ways and Means Committee:
- April Ford-Griffin, Chair
- Kacie Starr Triplett
- Fred Wessels
- Jennifer Florida
- Joseph Vaccaro
- Shane Cohn
- Charles Troupe
- Antonio D French
- Marlene E Davis
- Jeffrey L Boyd
- Craig N Schmid