Save Otter Creek Park – The Friends of Otter Creek Park Blog

WHAS 11: Metro Parks Spent $600k On New Mowers by stateofthecommonwealth
February 25, 2009, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Louisville Metro Government, Media, OCP News

WHAS 11 aired a whopper of a story last night, that Louisville Metro Parks spent over $600,000 on new mowers last year, just before spending cuts were announced by Mayor Abramson in December. Here’s the full story (you can watch video of the story by following the link above to WHAS 11):

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) – WHAS11 News has learned that as Louisville Mayor Abramson was closing Otter Creek Park to save a half million dollars, the Metro Parks Department was spending more than that on new lawn mowers.

It’s your tax dollars, and critics are saying its misplaced priorities.

But the parks department says the mowers are a great deal for taxpayers for the future.

The parks department says the fancy new lawn mowers are more efficient and were purchased just before the price went way up.

But spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawn mowers in tough budget times has got some folks flabbergasted:

You’ll be seeing these all-in-one Toro lawn mowers on Louisville’s public golf courses this summer.  The metro parks department bought eight of these new mowers last fall to replace the old tractor and pull behind blades currently being used.

Those eight faster, easier mowers were purchased last October.  The total cost was $507,000.  The next month, in November, metro parks purchased nine of these tractor pulled blade mowers which are designed to bushhog and cut high grass.  Total cost on those was $96,000.  More than $600,000 spent on new mowers just as Mayor Abramson was announcing a huge budget shortfall and millions in spending cuts.

Nowhere in the parks department’s capital budget is there any mention of cash for new mowers.  Storch says that’s because the money is coming out of metro government’s depreciation account.  Councilman Downard still wonders how the mower purchases will sit with city workers who face four mandatory furlough days without pay.

And yes, it is true, that $600,000 price tag on the new mowers is about $100,000 more than metro government expects to save by closing Otter Creek Park.  Downard says that’s one less park to mow with more lawnmowers.

One minor note about this story: Louisville Metro only predicted to save on the order of $180,000 for this fiscal year by closing Otter Creek Park, so the $500,000 figure cited in the story is a bit misleading. Louisville may save $500,000 in the next fiscal year if OCP remains closed, but closing OCP also ended a revenue stream, as well the potential for more. Either way, spending $600,000 during a recession on lawnmowers that, no matter how nice they are, will depreciate is not what we’d call fiscal responsibility.


7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This is just another example that the Mayor just don’t get it.

Comment by Tim Keith

I saw this and I don’t understand it either. If times are that tough, why not hold out and only replace expensive equipment when it quits. What a waste! I think it is time for a new mayor and one that will disclose some figures.

Comment by Vickie Kolb


Comment by LARRY QUILL

Drove by the park today just to see it. Looked like it had tree damage of course. You know if something or someone doesnt take it over it will become to expensive to reopen. I think thats part of the plan dump it when everybody else is too concerned about survival. I miss that place I grew up there good times, great times, and very sad times. I don’t know the cost but maybe bumper stickers, hats, shirts, sold on the web site saying save Ottercreek park or something could build up money to help and spread the work and keep it in the thoughts. Thats the key is to not let it be forgotten! Dam I miss that place. Thanks Mike

Comment by Mike Dymowski

What doers the mayor have against the park?
On behalf of the dayly walkers, hikers and weekend campers ( which was from spring through Winter ) WHY?
I miss the park I worked out there every day and I think this is sad.
So I wonder what kind of KICK BACK the city got for the MOWERS.
The BUDGET is an excuse and a stupid one at that. I think we the voters need to rethink who we have put in office.

Comment by Angala Anderson

No updates since February? Is the Friends of Otter Creek Park still meeting and working on getting the park re-opened?

Comment by m. Drury

It’s been almost a year since this site was last updated. Have the Friends of Otter Creek closed up shop and gone home? This group had potential for great momentum… Where did every one go?

Comment by m. Drury

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