Goodbye, William Beach

The Cicero Town Board requested cuts - deep cuts - going into the 2011 budget process.

Some cuts are so deep, departments are feeling the hits hard, particularly in the Parks and Recreation Department where the hardest hit to take was the decision to suspend the Learn to Swim Program and the closure of William Beach on Oneida Lake for 2011.

According to Jody Rogers, the town's director of youth bureau, parks and recreation, when preparing her budget and looking at different operations, if the actual function could not sustain itself it was an area she looked at.

"We don't have a revenue source at beach facilities," Rogers said, adding there really weren't any other areas in the department's budget to cut that much.

William Park has its own specific budget because of the beach and costs associated with it. The park budget is generally between $40,000 and $45,000, a majority of which is the beach operation and includes the cost of hiring and training lifeguards.

Rogers said her budget for William Park went from $40,820 to a staggering $10,720 once the decision to close the swimming area was made.

"I was asked to give back $100,000 total," Rogers said.

In an attempt to reach that amount, there have been several contractual reductions in all areas of the Parks and Recreation Department. However, Rogers said she was not able to get to that number, but was able to return to the town approximately $78,000 through the cuts she did make.

"It's not something that the board took lightly. I don't agree with the cut, but I understand," Rogers said. "I'm hoping it's a one year, or one season, cut."

According to Rogers, the town board has voiced this is a one-time situation.

"This is a hard cut to take but it's one that had to be made," she said. "I will definitely be planning on putting it back into my budget for 2012. They haven't said don't even think about putting it back in."

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