Support Mecklenburg County parks and greenways construction
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Dear Mecklenburg County Commissioners and County Manager Diorio,
In 2008, Mecklenburg County voters approved a $250M bond package to fund the 10-Year Park and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan (2008 – 2018). Shortly after that vote, however, due to the recession, funding for Park and Recreation was slashed, and we lost significant momentum in building the greenway system and park facilities called for in this plan.
Now, almost 10 years later, the County is experiencing tremendous growth to the tune of 50 new residents per day. Tax revenue is growing accordingly. But the uncompleted projects in our 10-Year Master Plan remain unfunded. A map of these projects can be viewed here.
Furthermore, this year our park system was ranked an embarrassing 97th out of the 100 largest metro park systems in the nation due largely to the low percentage of residents within a ten-minute walk of a park and our low investment in parks and greenways per resident compared to other metro areas. Land available for parks and greenways is rapidly being developed, so the County needs to commit to consistent investment in land acquisition now.
Therefore, I urge you to immediately honor the will of Mecklenburg voters and fund the remaining 2008 bond projects that were not included in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2019 - 2023.
Parks and greenways also require funding for planning and land acquisition. As our population continues to grow, land will only get more expensive.
Therefore, I also urge you to commit to dedicating an additional $6.6M per year to the Park and Recreation budget to acquire the land needed to expand our parks and greenways.
We have a terrific opportunity right now to create a park network and connected greenway system that will provide critical recreation opportunities, spur economic development, increase property values, and provide more safe ways to travel by foot and bicycle.
As my elected representatives/County Manager, please act now to ensure the timely construction of a parks and recreation system that meets the needs of a surging Mecklenburg County population.
FY19-23 Park & Recreation CIP Funding Request (unfunded projects approved by Mecklenburg County voters in the 2008 bond referendum)
- Druid Hills Neighborhood Park
- Ezell Farms Community Park
- Mallard Creek Greenway: Mallard Creek Drive to David Taylor Drive including CATS Park and Ride
- Briar/Little Hope Creek Greenway: Keystone Court to Manning Drive
- McIntyre Creek Greenway: Beatties Ford to Clarencefield Drive
- Irwin Creek Greenway: Old Statesville Road to Allen Hills Park
- Eastfield Regional Park
- Briar Creek Greenway: Central Ave to Commonwealth to Monroe Road
- Sugar Creek Greenway: Billy Graham Parkway to McDowell Farms Drive
- Naomi Drenan Recreation Center
- Colonel Francis Beatty Regional Park
- Mallard Creek Recreation Center
- Park Road Park Shelter
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