Nutter hears info from Recreation, Health on budget cut impact

    By: Tom MacDonald

    City officials are reviewing a wide array of options in their effort to close the budget gap while keeping service cuts to a minimum. Mayor Nutter met with department heads yesterday in a brainstorming session focusing on Health and Opportunity. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports you could be paying for previously free city services in the near future.

    By: Tom MacDonald
    tmacdonald@whyy.org

    City officials are reviewing a wide array of options in their effort to close the budget gap while keeping service cuts to a minimum. Mayor Nutter met with department heads yesterday in a brainstorming session focusing on Health and Opportunity. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports you could be paying for previously free city services in the near future.

    [audio: reports20090213rec-health.mp3]

    Transcript:

    Recreation Commissioner Susan Slawson says the city may be able to raise some revenue by charging residents who use its swimming pools.

    Slawson: “Most major cities charge a fee to use their pools, Philadelphia is probably one of the only large cities who don’t charge a fee to use a pool.”

    The city could also choose to close facilities like the Philadelphia Nursing Home. Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz says there are about 400 people in the facility, and shutting it down would mean moving people with mental health problems into group homes.

    Schwarz: “The only way it would happen is to make sure we have the housing in place, and the state would have to be cooperative.”

    The city is also considering selling off some assets, including rare manuscripts in the Free Library’s collection and vehicles driven by city staffers.

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