(KCPW News) An inventory conducted this past winter shows Salt Lake City parks could use millions of dollars worth of updates to infrastructure. Parks and Public Lands Director Emy Maloutas says it’s needed for things like restrooms and ball fields, many of which she says are outdated. But she says most of the parks are up to standard, and there aren’t any concerns related to public or environmental safety.
“From plumbing improvements for bathrooms to turf and irrigation, we’re somewhere in the ballpark of $90 million to get all of the infrastructure in the city as if it was new and at its highest optimal functioning level,” she tells KCPW.
Maloutas says many of the updates are needed because of ever-changing uses for city parks over the past decade and a growing population.
She says it’s a reality every municipality faces, and even the National Park Service.
“The reality is we build infrastructure and elements to support the public’s access and use of public lands and it’s always easy to fundraise for an initial investment and it’s a lot harder on the tail end to continue that momentum and fundraising for maintenance,” says Maloutas.
Maloutas says the improvements can’t be done all at once, but the city is establishing priorities based on need and community input.