Salt Lake County made park projects a priority in its proposed 1995 budget, but it wasn't enough to satisfy everyone.
Wednesday night at a public hearing on the $346.6 million budget, county commissioners heard from a steady stream of residents who want money for parks in their communities. The budget includes $3 million for land acquisition for new parks and development at existing parks.The commission is scheduled to adopt the budget during its meeting Dec. 14.
Residents from the Golden Hills and Top of the World neighborhoods, White City, Woodstock Meadows Park and Holladay/Cot-ton-wood Community Council said their areas had been overlooked when park money was divvied up.
"All over the valley there are pocket parks," said Helen Meyers of the Golden Hills Neighborhood Association. "Why is the east side discriminated against?"
Though they come from different areas, the residents shared a similar concern: Land for parks is becoming almost nonexistent.
"It's almost too late to do anything in our area," said Edy Wright, chairwoman of the association.
Children in the area have "the streets to play on - that's it," Wright said.
Some residents whose areas will receive money for parks in the 1995 budget thanked commissioners but said more money will be needed to complete the projects.
"It's barely enough to scratch the surface," said Carolyn Alder, chairwoman of the Valley Center Park Committee. The budget includes $200,000 for a park in that area.
Representatives of areas that are getting funded also made sure to remind the commissioners how long they'd waited for parks in their areas - wary perhaps that their allocations might be raided to fund other projects.
The commissioners also heard from representatives of White City, who asked for a community center they could use to provide positive activities for youth.
Commissioners also heard a plea from F. John Hill, director of the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, that they restore some of the $200,000 cut from the association's requested budget.
The association provides legal services for criminal defendants who can't afford their own attorneys. The association asked the commission to restore $123,499 in funding.
Of that amount, $33,000 would let the association maintain staff at its current level. The rest would pay for two new attorneys for the coming year.
Hill said the association's case load has grown dramatically in the past year. In 1993, the association handled 3,226 cases. As of Wednes-day, it had received 3,606 cases. Hill said he expects the association will reach 3,800 cases by the end of the year.
The rest of the money included in the original $200,000 budget increase the association requested would have funded three new attorneys from July 1 to Dec. 31 of 1995.