Support Parks Bond renewal
My wife and I have lived in LO for more than 40 years. Our city's parks network really has developed over those 40+ years. And, our personal use of parks and programs has evolved too.
In the beginning, the parks we visited most often had fields. We went to many youth soccer, baseball, football and lacrosse games. And, we sprayed the golf ball around at the municipal golf course. After our son left for college, we've been regular walkers on LO's trail system, attended many of the Wednesday and Sunday concerts, been Farmers Market regulars and started our tennis "careers" with lessons at the Tennis Center. And, I made extensive use of various Adult Community Center programs on behalf of my dad who made it to a robust 103.
Lake Oswego's parks and all the recreational programming coordinated by our City's dedicated Parks and Recreation Department offers so much to Lake Oswegans of all ages. From babies to seniors, and everyone in between, there is a wide range of ways to take advantage of our great parks and outstanding programs. And take advantage we do! Lake Oswegans love going to our various parks and are big participants in classes, programs, activities and events. And, we volunteer — to the tune of 33,000 hours last year alone.
It's easy to take some of this for granted but these parks-related opportunities don't happen without the financial support of our residents. Over the past 30 years, LO voters have approved three parks bonds that created much of what we all enjoy today including:
— Purchase of Luscher, Foothills and other parks land totaling 250 acres
— Construction of over 20 miles of pathways
— Development of new parks including Westlake, West Waluga, Roehr, Rossman, Foothills and Glenmorrie
— Major upgrades at George Rogers
— Construction of Hazelia Field, plus major improvements made at virtually all city and school athletic fields
The last two of the old parks bonds from 20 years ago soon will be fully repaid. City Council has approved placing a Parks Bond renewal measure on the May 2019 ballot. These renewal bonds will generate $30 million and again be repaid over a 20 year period. The annual tax rate will be no more than 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, which is the current rate on the existing bonds.
A recent, statistically valid parks survey was conducted late last year which indicated that 85% of those surveyed likely would support a parks bond renewal. It showed very strong advocacy for our network of parks and recreational programs. And citizens responded that they want additional parks projects completed.
This parks bond renewal represents a generational opportunity to continue investing in the natural assets and recreational opportunities that Lake Oswegans value. There are a number of highly desired and anticipated projects that will further support and enhance our community's healthy, active and social lifestyle.
Your ballots will be mailed to you by the county in early May. Please vote by the May 21 election date and support the continued investment in your parks network with a YES vote on Lake Oswego's Parks Bond Measure 3-548.
Bill Gordon is the co-chair of the Lake Oswego Parks Board
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