Austin Parks Amass $700M in Deferred Maintenance

See the original story and video at Spectrum News

AUSTIN, Texas–Park managers say they have $700 million worth of deferred maintenance, and some park advocates say that’s a fraction of the city’s needs.

“When you look at all the rec centers, the parks, the aging infrastructure and the pools, I think that number is way low,” said Colin Wallis, CEO of Austin Parks Foundation.

Wallis said Austin’s parks need close to $2.5 billion to get parks up to par citywide. Park managers say they have a limited budget to keep up more than 400 buildings and dozens of pools that are all aging.

“At some point, we may have to face some difficult decisions when facilities reach the end of their life expectancy as to what to do,” said Liana Kallivoka, who oversees planning at the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

This year, the city plans to replace Govalle Pool in East Austin and Shipe Pool in Central Austin. Both projects were funded in 2014 at $3.1 million apiece by City Council action.

The Parks and Recreation Department also plans to use 2012 bond money this year to remodel Montopolis Recreation and Community Center and renovate playgrounds at four Austin parks.

Voters approved about 78 million dollars for the Parks and Recreation Department in 2012. To date, the city shows it’s only spent $17.9 million.


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