Gainesville Begins Identifying Priorities in Long-term Parks and Rec Plan
Published January 29th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - As the city of Gainesville begins to reinvest in many of its parks and recreation centers, it held an open house Monday evening designed to take suggestions from the public. It's just the first step towards developing a long-term vision for the city's parks...a vision that could cost taxpayers a lot of green.
Last November, the Gainesville City Commission voted to move forward with developing a long-term 20-year master plan for the city's parks. The plan is called "Vision 20/20" and it outlines the various ways the city can go about improving and growing its park system over the next two decades.
The master plan, as approved by the city commission, calls for the city to position its parks as economic catalysts, driving more visitors and residents to Gainesville. Monday's meeting was about deciding just how to go about doing that.
The master plan was divided into seven separate work plans. Residents in attendance were able to meet with a city employee at each station, and offer their input on what they think needs to be improved.
In addition to identifying their priorities, city officials must also decide how to fund the improvements, which are estimated to cost the city an extra $25 million dollars over the next 20 years. A number of funding options are available, including issuing bonds, raising the millage rate, or implementing a city-wide sales tax.
Monday's open house was held at the Ironwood Golf Course, a city-owned facility that's had its own share of financial problems over the years. While the city's master plan does include the golf course, we're told it does not address the underlying financial or managerial issues currently facing the facility.
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