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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 05/18/2010

Fairfax parks broke by 2014?

By Washington Post editors

Officials said Tuesday morning that Fairfax County's parks could be out of money by 2014 unless they receive a cash infusion or increase their fees, reports The Post's Derek Kravitz on the Virginia Politics blog.

William G. Bouie, chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority's board of directors, told a joint meeting of county and park officials that budget cuts, lingering debt from several large park projects and slowing revenues are cutting into the agency's bottom line.

"As we become more creative in the way we stretch our programs and services, we are coming to the realization that we may run out of money for our projects soon," he said.

Bouie said officials will consider implementing park entrance fees unless a "sustainable long-term financial solution" is found.

According to figures provided to the county, by 2014, the Park Authority's $42.3 million in annual revenue would be outweighed by its anticipated expenses and debt service obligations. In short, Fairfax's parks would be about $236,000 in debt.

One of the ideas floated Tuesday to raise revenue was corporate naming rights -- a prospect that has received a chilly reception from several county officials.

"You have to be realistic. This is a county park. This isn't Fenway Park," said Harrison A. Glasgow, the Park Authority's vice chairman and a longtime environmental activist.

But business leaders and several county supervisors say corporate advertising could fill the agency's depleted coffers.

For more on financial troubles at Fairfax's parks, check out the Virginia Politics blog.

-- Derek Kravitz

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By Washington Post editors  | May 18, 2010; 12:22 PM ET
Tags:  Business, Counties, Fairfax, Fairfax County, Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax County Virginia, United States, Virginia  
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