ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — Parks in Elk Grove are maintained by the Consumnes Community Service District, not by the city, which is why parks in the city are not maintained equally.
“We are not allowed to move funds from one zone to another,” CSD Management Analyst Josh Branca told FOX40.
It’s why 11 parks in zone three, south of Calvin Road, are neglected.
Watering and mowing turf, trash collection and repairs have been cut back because base fees haven’t gone up in 20 years, and CSD doesn’t get any property tax money paid by residents.
The district has also delayed the construction of new parks in certain neighborhoods because it can’t afford to maintain them once built.
It’s why the district has mailed out a survey to over 4,000 property owners asking if they want a ballot measure that could raise their taxes from $74 to $196 a year for park maintenance.
The survey went out to owners in an area east of Highway 99.
“We do pay our taxes for it, it should have be taken care of already,” resident Michael Anderson said.
In the last two years, two neighborhoods voted to tax themselves to increase upkeep at their local park.
The district is partnering with sympathetic neighborhood groups on a bigger scale.
“They’ve taken it upon themselves to go door to door and talk to their neighbors to get on social media, let people know what’s going on as far as park funding,” Branca said.
Anderson says his family uses Amundsen Park every day, and he’s lived in many places where parks are a community asset.
“Everybody gets to know each other, so it becomes like an extra room in your house, basically your backyard. So, worth paying a little bit extra for, I would,” Anderson said.
The CSH is hoping a more focused education effort will lead to a different outcome than 2009’s park maintenance tax increase, which was voted down.
The mail survey will be collected by mid-December to see if it’s worth the expense of putting a formal vote on the ballot.