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City of Eugene to include boosted parks levy on May ballot

 Upgrades to Tugman Park were funded by the 2018 city parks levy
Karen Richards
Upgrades to Tugman Park were funded by the 2018 city parks levy

Eugene voters will decide in May whether to increase the amount of a five-year parks levy. At a work session last night, Eugene City Councilors referred the levy renewal to the ballot, with an emphasis on safety.

City staff conducted surveys of several funding levels and found people were sensitive to a cost increase, but were interested in increased parks security and cleanliness.

Councilor Mike Clark was the lone vote in opposition. He said he believes the measure would have a better chance if the levy amount didn’t change. “I think based on the polling we saw, an increased ask in dollars is going to meet with a poor reception, in my opinion," he said, adding, "And I understand the high response numbers we got for increasing safety, and I understand the need for it. I think that question was asked in isolation relative to the cost.”

If approved, the levy for operations and maintenance of parks, trails and facilities will increase from .18 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to .26 cents, raising the cost by around $18 per year for a typical Eugene homeowner.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.