Parks Bond Could Go On November Ballot

(KCPW News) Salt Lake County is again seeking a bond for park improvements, as well as the construction of new parks in the west, southwest and southeast areas of the valley. The amount has increased from $110 million to $123 million, but the yearly payments would remain the same. Community Services Department Director Erin Litvack says if the county council moves forward with the proposal, it would go on the November ballot.

“What’s important to me about this bond is from my standpoint, we’re going to let the community decide if this is something they think is important, and that is the difference between the council voting to fund this or the council voting to put this on the ballot and let the voters decide,” she says.

The county estimates about $26 million worth of maintenance and upgrades are overdue.

Last year, the council opted not to move forward with the bond, wanting to wait for a general election when more voters would show up to the polls. Republican Council Chairman David Wilde lives in Murray, which he notes is looking to build a new junior high school. And he says that takes precedence over parks.

“The council could ultimately say, well, we won’t do $123 million but maybe we’ll do $50 million or maybe we’ll do $80 million,” he tells KCPW. “As for me, I’m kind of skeptical on any amount right now. I just think that we need to focus on other priorities.”

Other members of the council argued bonding for maintenance alone wouldn’t be fair to areas of the county that are underserved with parks, because they’d be paying to maintain parks for other residents.