Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Back paddling -- Sunday's boats' last day

Big splash around the paddle boats this summer when they were threatened with eviction from the newly renovated boathouse at Echo Park Lake. Council President Eric Garcetti got creative and came up with some money to keep the concession going (Do they REALLY cost that much?) and announced at a lakeside press conference that as long as he was in office the boats would paddle paddle paddle for the public. But now they're schedded to close Sept. 9, which is this Sunday, which means the last day for the boats. No reopening date planned. In an email forwarded to me this afternoon, one of Eric's staff members explains the situation:

I spoke to Rec and Parks over the weekend, and they did let me know that as of today, the boats will no longer be funded. Our office knew that this was the original agreement. The Council Member pushed incredibly hard to keep the boats alive during the summer, and now it is up to us and Rec and Parks to see what the funding options are for the future.
As you know, the current financial structure for the boats is not a sustainable- each year the Paddle Boat program runs at a $90,000 deficit. The Council Member is looking into ways to make it a more financially sustainable operation. The boast will return, we are just not certain as to when.
Kabira Stokes Hochberg, Field Deputy, Office of Council President Eric Garcetti.

I am wondering how "Wreck and Parks" defines a deficit. I mean, do they break even (sustainably, that is) on a no-fee soccer field? Do the glorious tennis courts at Vermont Canyon pay for themselves? Is Griffith Park sustainable, moneywise?

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