City Commission Adopts Resolution on Parks and Trails District
The City of Bozeman City Commission adopted a resolution with amended language on Monday, December 3, 2019 "...submitting to the voters on May 5, 2020, a referendum on creation of the Parks and Trails Special District."
What is a Parks and Trails District?
Simply put, a Parks and Trails District would be a dedicated funding source for parks and trails in the Bozeman city limits. Currently, work for parks and trails is funded through the City's general fund. Creating a district would provide a consistent and predictable source to manage one of Bozeman's many natural assets. A special district like this one is not a new concept for Bozeman. The City currently uses this tool to fund city needs through Tree Maintenance District (established 1990), Street Maintenance District (established 1990), and the Arterial and Collector District (established 2015,)
It solves 3 major issues:
- Deferred maintenance: The cost of deferred maintenance in our parks and trails is just under $7 million. This includes assets that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Operations and Maintenance: A dedicated funding source would provide the stability needed for the city to be proactive (not reactive) in how they maintain and operate parks and trails. The district would provide a funding source for current city parks and trails, new park projects that have recently come online or are about to come online. (Story Mill Community Park, the Path to the M, the Bozeman Sports Park, and others.)
- Equity: The District would create a minimum standard to which all public parks and trails can be maintained, ensuring that all Bozemanites have access to quality parks and trails.
A city-wide Park and Trail Special District or equivalent has been anticipated, planned and recommended since roughly 1996. On March 4, 2019 the Bozeman City Commission voted to direct the City Manager to take the necessary steps to implement a city-wide Parks and Trails District over a five year period.