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As I read through the proposed CIP projects I have to wonder if we really are in touch with reality here? Has there been a demand for a $50,000 arboretum at Avery Park? Do we need another dog park? Do we need to spend $265,000 on ADA pathways to support a small fraction of our population while our city parks trails system is pathetic  (it is the laughing stock of everyone who has tried to use the trails)? Do we really need a new Community/Senior Center?

In the 2012 survey for the new parks plan 45 times as many people used trails as used the dog park. 15 times as many people used trails as used the Senior Center. Paths and trails were at the top of the list of facilities that people wanted (67% for and 8% against). The need for new trails was 2.3 times as great as the need for a new Community Center - and almost as many people opposed the new Community Center as favored it (29% to 33%). The highest priority for new facilities to be added was trails! There was no demand for ADA path improvements or anything like an arboretum.

So why aren't we giving the people what they ask for? Why aren't we budgeting for trails in the CIP? The normal excuse is that trail maintenance doesn't cost enough to go into the CIP list. Baloney! Budget enough each year for trails to get it into the CIP - not one trail but all trails. For new trail construction and old trail maintenance. We need a new Marys River Boardwalk amount of attention to trails in every park and natural area.

And we are defaulting on our responsibility to maintain natural areas and protect endangered species on city lands. Instead, we want to build an arboretum - a zoo for trees?? Give me a break!

I have been on the park board several terms, and I am extremely disappointed by the trivial amount of attention being given to our pathetic trail system. During this time every other land management agency in this area has done far more trail maintenance and construction than city parks. I think one of the reasons city parks does such a lousy job on trails is because trail maintenance and construction isn't a big ticket item - like the Marys River Boardwalk or the Senior Center. Trails don't get budgeted in the CIP so they are ignored.

We really need to rethink our priorities! What do we say when we go out for a vote to support parks? What answer do we have when someone asks why we are spending huge funds on a Senior Center expansion while our far more popular trails and natural areas are such a mess? If we don't give the people what they are asking for, why would they vote to support parks?

Phil Hays

On 14-Sep-17 1:54 PM, Hart, Linda wrote:

My mistake.  Here is the packet.


Linda Hart

Corvallis Parks and Recreation



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