Parks district gets the green light for Nov. ballot measure
Today, Clackamas County’s Board of County Commissioners voted 5-0 at a public hearing to place a North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD) measure on the November ballot. The measure would re-form NCPRD as an independent district separate from county government, at a new higher tax rate.
NCPRD’s current tax rate is 54 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value; the ballot measure will ask voters if they approve increasing that to 89 cents per $1,000 (an increase which equates to about $7 per month more on a $250,000 home). The new rate would allow additional funding for park maintenance and programming, as well as the creation of new parks, natural areas and open spaces.
NCPRD currently has the lowest tax rate of all comparable parks districts in the state of Oregon. Those other districts collect between 91 cents and $1.91 per $1,000 of assessed home value and they are able to offer a greater level of parks and recreational facilities and programs. The District’s 2004 Master Plan and 2014 Master Plan identified the need and community desire for a greater level of parks and recreation services, which can only be provided with additional funding sources.
The District, which includes 116,000 of Clackamas County’s urban residents, is currently governed by Clackamas County’s Board of County Commissioners. NCPRD is the only parks and recreation district structured as a county service district in the state of Oregon. Most other urban parks districts are structured as independent districts under ORS 266, which was created specifically for parks and recreation districts. Voters will be asked if they approve of this new governance model, which would provide a board of directors made up of district residents, elected by voters, to focus solely on governing the District.
The increased funding could allow the following recommended capital projects:
- Completing Milwaukie Riverfront Park.
- Developing a large community park in the Oak Lodge area.
- Building a new community center in Happy Valley.
- Establishing new neighborhood parks in mature communities such as Oak Grove, Jennings Lodge and Milwaukie.
- Public access and resource protection along rivers and streams.
In addition, the funding would:
- Enable the District to repair, replace and refurbish aging assets.
- Enhance efforts to acquire and protect land important for wildlife habitat and natural ecological processes while providing high quality passive recreation.
- Expand recreational programs and services to meet growing demand, particularly for older adults and youth.
- Acquire and develop new trail links.
- Create partnership opportunities to: develop sports fields, improve spaces for seniors, and establish community gathering spaces.
For more information, Annie Carlson, Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 742-4354 (office), (360) 601-5144 (cell) Gary Barth, Director: email@example.com or (503) 742-4299 (office), (503) 754-2050 (cell).
North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District is a service district of Clackamas County dedicated to providing exceptional parks and recreation programs, facilities and services. Voters approved the formation of the District in 1990 because they saw the need for greater parks and recreation services in the north end of the county. The District – which serves more than 116,000 residents in a 36-square mile area – includes the cities of Happy Valley, Milwaukie and a large area of unincorporated Clackamas County. Our mission: To enrich community vitality and promote healthy living through parks and recreation.
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