Comparing park SDC's charged by park and recreation districts with park SDC's charged by cities. Justifying a $7500 proposed parks SDC rate by comparing the rate with the other cities who charge outrageous amounts, as if we were taking a market survey of comparable employee salaries. These were some of the arguments advanced by Troutdale city staff and some city council members at last night's work session.
If we say "all the other cities are charging those outrageous amounts!", then that's the end of argument, I guess!
We currently have over 340 acres of park space and natural open areas. We also have 6.82 miles of trails and pathways. Not bad for a town that's only 5 square miles in size! In addition, We're located right next to the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, The Sandy River Delta (aka Thousand Acres), Dabney State Park, and Lewis & Clark State Park. We're a few miles from Oxbow Park. We already live in a truly park-rich environment!
Our current parks are in need of updating and repair. We really don't have any spare general fund money to maintain new parks, let alone our existing parks. Many of the needed updates for existing parks are SDC-eligible. That's where our parks SDC money should go. And we don't need to double our parks SDC from $3600 to $7500 to do so.
Take a look at the Parks project list (exhibit A ). New land acquisitions account for a majority of the new park dollars proposed to justify the higher $7500 SDC.
New park space we can't afford to maintain. More land off the tax rolls. It doesn't make sense, and it's not a good deal for Troutdale's taxpayers.
We will be making a final decision on the new parks SDC rate sometime early next year. Stay tuned.