Hello Cutbacks; Goodbye Parks and Rec, Trash Pickup

Faced with a $5 million deficit in its budget, Medford may eliminate Parks and Rec Dept, trash pickup, and more.  And that won't rule out a tax hike. 

Mayor Randy Pace, who inherited the Burlco township's gaping budget hole in January, says these dire measures may be needed.  For years, taxes were flat while costs rose.

Randy Pace, Medford's mayor

A budget proposal will be unveiled by the town manager at a town meeting tonight (Feb. 7) and could include plans to ax Parks and Rec and trash collection.  Last year, the town stopped curbside leaf and brush pickup.      

If these cuts are adopted, Pace said that civic associations will be asked to maintain the fields and a seniors group will take charge of the senior center which may have to begin charging "a fee to seniors to play pinochile."   The local YMCA may also be asked to chip in, he said.

Residents also will have to start paying for their own trash. 

The services that may be cut "are things that are great to have and made Medford a great community," Pace said.  "But there's no rule that says government has to fund it."  Meanwhile, all of the other departments also are being asked to slim down.