From The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League
Dallas Parks Face Extreme Budget Cut
Please read the following statement from Dallas Park and Recreation Board President, Robert Abtahi:
We all know that great cities are known for their great parks. The 2017 Capital Bond Program is currently underway and the City of Dallas has created a citizens bond task force to make recommendations of bond allocations for a November 2017 bond package.
The reason I am writing you is that I am extremely concerned with the lack of funding for our parks and trails. There is currently only 15% of a $800 million bond package allocated for parks. This comes out to $120 million to fill a needs inventory of roughly $2.3 billion. This would be the smallest allocation for parks we have seen going back over 20 years.
I am asking you to support an additional $153 million be added to the 2017 Bond Program exclusively for parks so that we can take advantage of $303 million in match funding opportunities for our city. By increasing the bond package to $953 million we would open up $303 million of non-city money.
The Dallas Park and Recreation Department has not had a bond program in 11 years. Dallas currently ranks last on a list of 20 major cities on capital spending per resident for parks.
I understand that a bulk of our upcoming bond money must go to streets but we cannot abandon the projects that both increase our tax base and improve the quality of life for our citizens. An investment in our parks will be the catalyst to increased bond capacity for the city to conduct future bond programs.
Parks provide an economic impact to our city at a rate of 1 to 7 return on investment and trails provide an economic impact to our city at a rate of 1 to 50 return on investment.
The Park Bond Proposition needs to be adequate to provide funding for neighborhood park improvements, the aquatics master plan implementation, improvements to recreation centers, land acquisition and to provide $153 million in bond funds that would be leveraged with $303 million in match funding from partnership organizations and other governmental agencies.
I have attached two files. The first is a list of the 2017 Bond Task Force members and the second is a list of our current match funding opportunities. I would ask that you reach out to these individuals to let them know you support increasing the bond package to $953 million with the additional $153 million in bond funds to exclusively fund the match funding opportunities in parks. Doing this will allow us to leverage the most dollars and it will free up the original allocation to make sure we take care of our neighborhood parks throughout Dallas.
Click here, if you wish you make your feelings known to your representatives at city hall.