Austin Prop 14: Parks and Recreation Spending
Note: With elections around the corner, KUT News is reviewing the 18 city ballot propositions that Austinites will vote on in November.
By Era Sundar
Proposition 14 focuses on parks and recreation and would borrow almost $78 million for improving Austin’s parks, recreational and other public facilities.
Some of the parks that would see improvements are the Emma Long Metropolitan Park, the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Metropolitan Park. Facilities like the Barton Springs Bathhouse would be renovated and the Dove Springs Recreation Center would be expanded.
Ofelia Zapata is a Dove Springs community leader. She says the recreation center needs the money that Proposition 14 would provide.
“We have nothing for our seniors out there,” Zapata said. “Every neighborhood has a senior center, a multipurpose center, except southeast Austin. The time is now to deliver a multipurpose center to meet the needs of the families in our neighborhood.”
Pat Smith of the Southeast Neighborhood Planning Contact Team is also in favor of Proposition 14. But she says its shortcomings lie in the way the money is being divvied up.
“We were awarded $1.75 million and we are very grateful for that,” Smith said. “But considering the needs of the community probably far exceed those that were even projected in 2002, we do not feel it’s adequate.”
Efforts to acquire new parkland and maintain city-owned cemeteries would also get a share of the Proposition 14 pie. Passage of the bond would not push city property taxes higher.