The City of Chico has announced changes in the parks department that will save the city $500,000. The changes will result in layoffs, and reduced park hours at Bidwell Park.
Among the biggest changes, Caper Acres Playground in Bidwell Park will be closed Monday-Thursday starting Monday, July 8.
Public Works Director Ruben Martinez announced the changes in a news release sent out Tuesday. According to the release, seven workers will be laid off, including three from Parks and four from Street Trees division.
The Parks Division will focus on preparing Bidwell Park and its facilities for the peak usage days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Starting Monday, July 8, all gates will be closed to vehicles Monday through Thursday with two exceptions. The Wildwood Avenue gate to Upper Park Road will remain open allowing continued access to facilities including the Municipal Golf Course. The 4th Street entrance gate to Lower Bidwell Park will also remain open, allowing access to One Mile Recreation Area.
The permanent restrooms on the north side of One Mile and Cedar Grove will be closed Monday through Thursday.
Reservations will not be available for the major picnic areas in Bidwell Park Monday through Thursday.