Make the McKenzie Connection!

Parks measure seeks $30 million

McKenzie area restoration is part of six-year plan

EUGENE: With a four-to-one vote the Lane County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved placing a recreation referendum on this November's general election ballot.

The measure is based on the 2018 Lane County Parks & Open Space Master Plan, which staff said has a core goal to "re-invigorate and revitalize targeted parks as thriving, family-friendly outdoor activity hubs through redesign, renovation, and programming to help position Lane County as the best county for outdoor recreation and play."

The proposed five-year levy - at 16 cents per one thousand dollars assessed property value - would generate approximately $6 million per year for a total of $31 million over the life of the levy. If approved, the levy is designed to fund improvements and investments in parks, trails, water access, water quality, and natural areas.

Parks officials say funding had dropped significantly over the last forty years. Shortfalls included an estimated $38 million in deferred maintenance. That backlog officials said, included essential maintenance projects that "left several parks in need of repairs, upgrades, and investments to keep them safe and enjoyable."

Lane County Parks manager Brett Henry told the board that without a significant investment the current $22 million capital need could grow to over $38 million in the next ten years.


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