On April 22, Everett City Council approved the adoption of $3.4 million in emergency budget reductions, taken in response to COVID-19. These reductions were necessary to protect the City’s financial viability and ability to deliver core services. They affect nearly every department across the City, including many Parks & Community Services programs. City staff and operation costs have also been reduced.
The budget reductions will impact many in our community and were not made lightly. These are beloved programs and services and it is tremendously difficult to cancel events and shutter popular services. Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented economic impacts of COVID-19, these sacrifices are necessary to protect the City’s ability to deliver its core services like public safety, infrastructure and parks.
For a complete list of emergency budget reductions, community members can view a recording of the April 22 council meeting and the council meeting materials (see agenda item 5 under Action Items).
Learn more about how the budget reductions impact parks programs and services in the FAQ below.
Frequently asked questions:
What Parks closures and cancellations are included in the emergency budget reductions?
- Forest Park Swim Center is closed through 2020
- Carl Gipson Senior Center is closed through 2020
- All 2020 spring and summer programs and special events are cancelled including, but not limited to: 4th of July parade and festival, Music in the Parks and Cinema under the Stars.
These specific programs are cancelled until further notice:
- Viva Color flower program
- Camp Patterson
- Code 10
- Animal Farm
- All summer camps
- All health & wellness classes
- City-led softball and baseball leagues
- City-led outdoor trips
What isn’t closing/cancelled due to the budget reductions?
Everett will continue to offer a robust parks system with a range of recreational opportunities for our community to enjoy. This includes: more than 50 parks and green spaces throughout the city, golf courses, playgrounds, boat launches, sports courts and ball fields, contracted sports leagues, facility rentals, a community garden, ranger services and volunteer opportunities. The use of some of these amenities is currently restricted due to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
What about Jetty Island?
Jetty Island operations are still under consideration as we await an update from Governor Inslee regarding physical distance restrictions and gathering sizes allowed over the summer. We will continue to provide updates with more details as they become available.
Why is the City temporarily closing the Carl Gipson Senior Center and Forest Park Swim Center?
The senior center and swim center have been closed since March 2020 in compliance with the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Due to the significant impact of COVID-19 on the City’s revenues and budget, and anticipated ongoing physical distancing requirements, we have decided to keep these facilities closed through 2020.
I already paid for senior center membership dues and classes, will I receive a refund?
Memberships and classes will be refunded. For more information on how to receive your refund, please contact the Recreation Office at 425 257-8300, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I already registered for classes and programs that have been cancelled, will I receive a refund?
Yes, you will receive a refund. In most cases, the refund will be sent to you automatically and your refund will come in the form of a check. If you paid with a credit or debit card, it will be deposited back onto the card you used.
I rely on senior center services such as lunch and programs. Where can I go for these services?
The City of Everett is working with Homage Senior Services to continue to provide the lunch program. Seniors can stop by the Carl Gipson Senior Center Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a lunch and a weekly menu.
My family was looking forward to summer camps, what can they do now?
Providing the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted or modified, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, among others, have offered summer day camps.
Where can I/my family go for swimming and swim lessons?
For open swim, Everett residents can use the Everett YMCA and use the pool at a reduced rate when stay home orders have been lifted. The YMCA also offers swim lessons for both members and non-members.
Will you be closing parks due to budget reductions?
Parks are a core city service and park closures were not included in the emergency budget reductions made on April 22. All of our parks will remain open for the public.
Where will the Animal Farm animals go?
The animals used for the Animal Farm are loaned to the Parks department by their owners. The animals will all have homes even though the Animal Farm is closed.
Where are the Viva Color plants going if they won’t be planted this year?
All plants will be sold via City auction until May 3.
Can I still use park facilities such as rental halls, sports courts/ball fields and picnic shelters?
These facilities are currently closed to comply with the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy orders. Once those orders are lifted, these facilities will once again be available for the public to rent.
When will the City reopen closed facilities and resume classes and programs?
To be determined. The economic impacts of COVID-19 are severe and there is uncertainty around the extent to which they will further affect City revenues. We are unable to plan for the reopening or return of facilities and programs at this time. Parks staff continue to search for a sustainable model to provide some of these services to the public in the future.
Will there be more closures and cancellations?
Current COVID-19 economic impacts have had an unprecedented impact on City services. Based on current budget projections, the City of Everett still faces a budget shortfall for both 2020 and 2021. Therefore, more measures may need to be taken.