Friday, April 06, 2007

Parkway Funding

Our policy suggestion is to have a nonprofit organization manage the Parkway, as the Sacramento Zoological Society has been managing the Sacramento Zoo, and the Central Park Conservancy managing New York’s Central Park, both very successfully for many years.

Many of the funding and other management woes noted in this story would resolve themselves as the dedicated organizational focus from a Parkway management nonprofit would replace the diffused and scattered approach now evident, and working under the constraints of always never enough money from increasingly reluctant tax payers.

River parkway short on funding

Many of those polled by phone favor assessment district to maintain it.
By Ed Fletcher - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, April 6, 2007

The American River Parkway is often referred to as a "regional jewel." But are local property owners willing to pay a little extra to maintain its luster?

That's the question officials from Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento County are teaming up to ask.

For years, parkway supporters have been pushing for more funding for the 23-mile recreation area along the Lower American River.

A phone survey that concluded early this week asked 600 property owners if they would be willing to pay an annual assessment of up to $30 to support the parkway.

Officials hope to have a vote by mail ballot of property owners by the end of the year, but many questions remain unanswered.

The survey results will help elected officials working with volunteer parkway supporters craft the proposed boundaries, set the annual assessment and determine how much money will be raised.

The data also will help decide what entity would collect and spend the extra funds.
" I'm very concerned about the funding for the parkway. (The parkway) is an important element in our quality of life," said Supervisor Susan Peters, one of six local elected officials who have been meeting to find new funding sources for the parkway. The group also is considering a new governance structure strengthening the city of Sacramento's role and giving Rancho Cordova a seat at the table.

Most involved with the polling seem to favor an assessment district that helps maintain the American River Parkway. But Supervisor Roger Dickinson says all county residents should be asked to help with open space land in the county and to support all county regional parks, including Dry Creek Parkway, just north of the former McClellan Air Force Base.