Rockford Park District has announced a million dollar budget deficit for 2018. Instead of raising taxes the offset funds the Park District's board has opted to make cuts in revenue by suspending operations of two major downtown attractions, closing a neighborhood, and eliminate some of the full-time staff.

In a press release, some of the major effects of the budget cut, confirmed by Rockford Park District, are suspending operations of Forest City Queen (the riverboat) and Trolley Car 36 during the summer of 2018, closing Sand Park Pool, installing video gaming at select locations, and various price increases.

Other Rockford Park District Budget-Related Changes:

  • Closing Harkins Aquatic Center two weeks earlier
  • Reducing free Music in the Park Summer Concert Series from 9 weeks to 8 weeks.
  • Elimination of indoor swimming lessons
  • Elimination of one youth day camp called Summer Blast
  • Expanding hours of operation at Washington Park Community Center to invest in area youth.
  • Increased support for Rockford Park District Police
  • Video gaming at select locations
  • Select pricing increases in programs and rental opportunities
  • Increased Foundation support.

Staff Budget Cuts

  • Elimination of four open full-time positions by attrition and restructuring.  Since 2009, full-time positions have been reduced by 10% while adding more than 20 parks, playgrounds, parking areas, paths, or new recreational amenities such as Alpine Hills Adventure Park, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Mercyhealth Sportscore Two expansion, Olson Swedish Heritage Park, UW Health Sports Factory, and a Food and Beverage department
  • Elimination of event support for community partner events
  • Elimination of support to community centers for ground maintenance; reduction in contractual mowing

The Rockford Park District will also attempt to save money with lower utility, gas, and health insurance costs. Find more budget-related information here.


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