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Parks and Rec long-range plan will be developed from the outside

Thursday, January 25, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

On Jan. 23, the Parks and Recreation Board unanimously recommended that the City Council authorize a consultant to provide the Parks and Recreation Department with a long-range plan for the next five to seven years. According to Randy Scott, acting division manager for park planning, “We’ve selected the consultant and we’re moving forward to Council.” The contract was awarded to the firm Wallace Roberts and Todd in an amount not to exceed $400,000. He said that the plan should be completed within a year. Kimberly McNeeley, the interim director of the parks department, explained that the funding for this contract is coming from the department and is partially augmented by the Austin Parks Foundation. Scott noted that although this is the first time that a consultant will be hired for this project, doing so will “take the long-range plan to the next level.” He also conceded that the department’s current staff is “stretched extremely thin” and could use assistance. According to him, the department has the same amount of staff as it did in 1998, “if not less.”

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