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Campaign for proposed levy to fix up and improve Lane County's parks begins

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Brian Bull
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KLCC
4J School Board member Alicia Hayes takes her turn at today's media conference to discuss why she supports a proposed tax levy to fund improvements and upgrades for Lane County Parks.

Supporters of a proposed levy to raise funds for Lane County parks launched their pitch at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum today.

Last month, the Lane County Board of Commissioners voted to refer the 5-year levy to the November 8th ballot. If approved, it would increase property taxes $0.16-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in Fiscal Year 2023.

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Brian Bull
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KLCC
Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark of Ward 5.

Among those voicing support for the levy was Alicia Hayes, a Eugene resident and member of the 4J School Board.

“A big chunk of it will be spent on improving access for people with disabilities: paths, accessible bathrooms, accessible boat ramps, all places where we need to have access, so we can appreciate the beauty and the water and the play that other people – who don’t have disabilities - get to experience.”

Standing inside the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum as rain steadily drizzled outside, members of local civic groups and governments made their case. Among them was Mike Clark, who’s Eugene City Councilor for Ward 5. He says he’s not a quick sell for new bonds and levies, but this is different.

“The county has – over decades and decades – built these beautiful places when they had the money, in order to maintain them,” he told KLCC. “And in the last decade or two, we haven’t had – at the county – that kind of money to maintain them in the style in which they should be. So this in my opinion, was the wisest way forward, to make sure that we were taking care of these county treasures the way we should.”

If voters approve the Lane County parks levy, it would go into effect in Fiscal Year 2023. The estimated cost would be under $40 a year for the median tax payer.

Among others voicing support were members of the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the Eugene City Council, and Eugene-Springfield NAACP.

©2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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