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County budget covers aquatic center

Mirror staff

A $3.1 billion budget for King County that ensures continued operation of the Weyerhaueser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way was approved Monday by the County Council.

Council members emphasized that one of the budget focuses is maintenance and upkeep of major regional facilities, such as the aquatic center. The pool, which has hosted national and international swimming and diving events and will be the scene next January of the U.S. Olympic Trials for synchronized swimming, was among facilities that county officials earlier this year said would be difficult to keep open because of a projected $53 million budget deficit for county government.

The new budget also focuses on criminal justice, human services and other critical needs of county residents, council members said.

Councilman Larry Phillips, chairman of the council’s Fiscal Management Committee, said the budget closes the deficit by transferring certain parks and pools to cities (including Federal Way’s takeover of the Kenneth Jones pool), and reorganizing various government agencies to lower costs. The latter move includes closing the Federal Way division of District Court and consolidating it with other branches.

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