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Updated: Wednesday, 27 May 2009, 10:15 AM CDT
Published : Wednesday, 27 May 2009, 10:15 AM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin's Parks and Recreation Board said it hates to pull the plug on the popular Trail of Lights in Zilker Park. However, facing a budget shortfall, the board's chair, Linda Guerrero, said the only other alternative might be staff cuts.
"There are already several vacancies we're not filling in our department," said Guerrero. "We're working with a skeleton crew."
The board met this week to discuss the idea of ending the 11-year holiday tradition.
The mile-long trail usually meanders through more than 40 LCD displays and attracts more than 300-thousand spectators. The city's parks and recreation department has already slashed $2.8 million from its budget. Taking away the Trail of Lights would cut $800,000 more.
Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Hensley said, "We are exploring other alternatives. Shortening the days, re-evaluating staff on the project, or utilizing those lights in other areas of the city are just some ideas."
Hensley said the department wants to make a final decision by September. It is seeking public input and sponsors to keep the Trail of Lights alive.