Parks fund can unlock SDCs

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Imagine having a $793,000 pot of money to spend on improving parks in the city of Keizer, but the only way to use it was to come up with another $6.1 million from other sources. In the simplest terms, that’s the dilemma the city is facing when it comes to using existing system development charges (SDCs) to improve Keizer parks. The topic was the center of discussions at the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting Tuesday, June 14, as board members wrestled with the possibility of creating a dedicated parks fund by establishing a parks district within the city. If the idea gains traction, Keizer residents would likely see the additional cost in the form of a surcharge added to utility bills. Bill Lawyer, Keizer Public Works director, was on hand to answer questions about budgeting for parks as members of the board prepare to survey residents regarding needs and wants when it comes to recreation in the city. Here is the lowdown on the parks budget as it currently exists: • Parks comprise a minimum of 2.5 percent of the city’s total general fund. That money, which comes from the same fund that pays for police officers, is primarily used for maintenance of existing facilities and amenities. • Parks also benefit from rental fees paid for the orchard and residence...

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