County Asks For $22 Million For Parks

Posted at 8:37 AM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 11:26:24-04

Jackson County is asking voters to come up with several million dollars to renovate and restore parks. It's hinting at some parks may close if the millage proposal fails.
FOX 47's Marcus Dash has the details.

Some homeowners say they're tired of seeing their property taxes go up all the time, but Jackson County's Parks Director Jeff Hovarter says there simply isn't enough money to take care of the parks the right way.

"We certainly won't be able to maintain the number of acres and number of parks we do now, so we'll have to figure out what we'll have to do with the parks we aren't going to maintain," said Jeff Hovarter.

The Jackson County has around 800,000 dollars a year to use to maintain its parks and the man in charge of them says it's only enough for the bare minimum.

"We basically mow grass, pick up trash, and trim, or weed whack where we can," said Hovarter.

This millage would allow the county to replace the water system at the cascade park waterfall, make safety improvements, and make some repairs.

"Seal cracked trails, repair play equipment, get the proper safety surfacing to underplay equipment," said Hovarter.

That all sounds good to homeowner Tim Johnson, but he thinks there's a limit to how much voters are willing to raise their property taxes.

"If you are single and don't have any kids there is no benefit. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying, but you're taxed year after year after year and it adds up," said Tim Johnson.

Hovarter says the cost of saving the parks is adding up too.  He's hoping that's enough to convince voters.

"We'll see what happens on August 7th, folks need to go and vote," said Hovarter.

Jackson County is asking for more than just parks money. There's also a millage on Tuesday's ballot that would raise more than ten million dollars to bring back animal-control officers. The County Sheriff's office has been handling animal problems for the last four years.