$3.2 million boost means more hours for rec centers

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The Dallas parks department, along with all the others under the umbrella of “quality of life,” took severe budget cuts in 2008.

Now that the city is working with its biggest budget in history — $2.81 billion — Parks and Recreation would receive a $3.2 million increase in the proposed 2014-2015 proposed budget. Some of that money would go toward increasing hours at rec centers.

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Kidd Springs has one of the city’s busiest rec centers, and it already had more hours than most. But under the proposal, Kidd Springs would put about six more hours a week on the schedule. It would be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-7 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. All of the rec centers are closed on Sundays.

The Kiest Park Recreation Center would be open about nine more hours a week: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-7 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays.

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The hours at Martin Weiss, which is open 55 hours a week, would stay the same.

Parks department chief Willis Winters told City Council this week that the department learned to do more with less after the budget cuts. Each rec center director is in charge of two centers, for example.

Winters also found $35,000 in the budget to provide wireless internet service to all rec centers that didn’t already have it.

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