On Thursday, I announced that Portland Parks & Recreation will be investing over $12 million from funds paid by developers of new construction, to build two new parks in East Portland. Full details here.
Over the next few weeks, there will be further announcements about investments to expand parks facilities in every neighborhood district/coalition area of Portland. I appreciate the input of community parks enthusiasts who have helped prioritize where to spend scarce resources. While the amount available is far short of the $400 million needed to provide all the needed facilities on the Parks Capital Improvement Project list, it is wonderful to be able to get started on addressing the backlog.
Please note that this source of funds, System Development Charges, may only be used for new construction, by state law. It may not be used for maintenance or programs. Thanks to an ordinance passed by Council in 2006, all new Parks facilities are allocated additional General Fund ongoing funds to pay for operations and maintenance of the new feature. So adding new parks does not increase the $450 million deficit in Parks maintenance for the entire portfolio of 206 parks citywide.