Parks see boost from city budget

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes The upcoming city budget will fund a sports court at Keizer Rapids Park, upgrades to youth baseball fields and a possible big toy at Willamette Manor Park. While Parks Board Chair Richard Walsh admits the upgrades are a mere dent in the hierarchy of needs in the city’s recreation system, he is excited to see that the conversation revolved around what to spend some $20,000 in funds on, rather than merely looking to avoid cuts. Budgets in the previous two cycles did well to keep up parks maintenance, even as volunteer labors begat major improvements to the dog park and construction of an amphitheater at Keizer Rapids Park. “It’s exciting that we actually have some general fund dollars to invest in infrastructure,” Walsh said. A set of tennis courts at Claggett Creek Park are likewise included in the budget via systems development charges. The Keizer Tennis Association convinced city councilors earlier this year to allocate $50,000 in SDCs towards their planned fundraising and grant match to construct courts at the centrally-located park. Whether SDCs – alternately known as impact fees – can be used on certain projects depends on the park: Several years ago the city ordered a report to determine which parks were eligible for full or partial SDC funding. For example, Keizer Rapids Park projects can be entirely paid for with SDCs,...

Read More