County supervisors want to create $15 million trust fund for county parks

Money will pay for new parks and maintenance
Posted at 8:29 AM, Mar 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-22 15:23:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A proposal at Wednesday's County Board of Supervisors meeting will create a $15 million trust fund for the County Parks system.

Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Greg Cox proposed the Trust Fund, to "sustain our parks and facilities now and into the future."

The County currently operates 124 parks and preserves, along with 350 miles of trails. It covers nearly 50,000 acres of land.

But Supervisor Jacob sees a problem.

"Right now the system is broken," she told 10News.

She says there's no funding mechanism for new parks, and no money to maintain new parks once they're built. She thinks this trust fund will help fix that.

"We want to make sure our parks are kept up, they're a public asset," she says. "They're a taxpayer investment, so this fund will be used to fill that gap."

Right now, the County spends about $38 million dollars a year to operate it's existing parks. The new $15 million dollar trust fund will come out of the County General Fund. If it's approved at Wednesday's meeting, the county will have 6 months to find areas from the budget to cut, so they can set aside that money. Then whatever's spent each year will have to be replaced.

"Once we establish this policy, that trust fund will be ongoing," says Supervisor Jacob. "We won't have to duke it out in the budget each year."

And making parks a permanent priority, she adds, is like investing in the County's future.

"Adding parks, adding open space, adding these trails is a part of what makes San Diego America's Finest County," says Jacob.