To the Editor:
I am under the impression our Keizer Rapids Park was a regional park since Marion County contributed funds to purchase some of the property.
The county was able to spend county park money. If the park is regional, the county should provide the city with funds for some park maintenance. County Commissioner Janet Carlson is the co-chairman of the Community Build Task Force fundraising committee to fund the Big Toy in the park along with former Keizer city councilman Richard Walsh. If the county is so involved why is it that only people living within the city are on the Keizer Parks Board? It only makes sense that someone from the county should have a vote on how the regional park is managed and run since it has money in the park.
The citizens of Keizer should thank the Marion County Commissioners for their interest and financial support.
There are plans to construct a large indoor sports facility within the park in the future. The footprint for the building is set out in the revised park master plan. The money for the facility will have to come from the park budget at the expense of the other city parks. Besides the cost of construction there will be constant maintenance and administration cost throughout the year. The facility would need heating and cleaning in the winter and maybe air conditioning in the summer.
There were rumors that some Keizer Rapids Park supporters want to create a park district for a greater source of revenue. This means a new set of elective officers and a paid staff like the fire district. Of course this would raise taxes on everyone in Keizer. I assume a parks district would not be entitled to receive Systems Development Charge funds. One possibility would be to charge the people who use the indoor sports facility. If and when a sports facility is built in the future, then anyone could pay to use it and not just Keizer residents although we paid for most of it in the first place.