Friday, August 14, 2009

Parks & Funding

As government and the private sector struggle out of the recession there are many valuable strategies to be examined that can be of significant help in relation to our parks.

For sustaining signature parks like the American River Parkway, the creation of a Joint Powers Authority (JPA)—already being discussed—followed by the creation of a nonprofit conservancy for management and supplemental fund raising is a fiscally smart way to proceed.

For other parks, whose value is recognized, but not at the level where such a strategy could be worthwhile, other options for funding stability could be examined, such as a classical public/private partnership where private enterprise is allowed to seek profit while retaining the public use.

In cases where the public usage may not justify maintaining park status, sale of the public asset could be a strategy that would offer something of triple value for government by realizing a profit from the sale, and savings of funds no longer needed for management and maintenance, plus the increase in the tax base from the private development that could occur in the sold land.