How Milwaukee Parks are Affected by the County Board 2011 Budget Votes
On Monday, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors met to hammer out the 2011 budget. Under the budget they adopted, the 2011 tax levy is $269,554,701 which is an increase of 2.4% over the 2010 levy.. Under this scenario, owner of an average homeowner would see an increase of about $7.50 on the County portion of their property tax bill.
Instead of commenting on the entire budget, I wanted to point out a few specifics from the County Board’s budget (which goes to County Exec. Walker for veto, and then back to the Board where they can vote to override his veto) that affect the parks system here in Milwaukee County. Here are some of the amendments which affected parks and how they were voted on by our Supervisors (thanks to the Bay View Compass for collecting all the vote totals):
12-7 (No: Borkowski, Cesarz, De Bruin, Jursik, Rice, Sanfelippo, Schmitt) to include funding for the Youth Sports Authority in the amount of $100,000. (increases tax levy by $100,000)
15-4 (No: Cesarz, De Bruin, Rice, Sanfelippo) to seek a separate line item on the County property tax bill for Parks and cultural institutions (no tax levy impact)
15-4 (No: Cesarz, Johnson, Rice, Sanfelippo) to provide the Parks Director the flexibility to set Parks fees lower or up to an additional 10% higher than the 2010 Adopted Budget in order to respond in a timely manner to chancing market competition, weather conditions, etc. (no tax levy impact)
17-2 (No: Mayo, Sanfelippo) create a Workgroup to explore and potentially develop a new lease agreement with the Milwaukee Kicker Soccer Club for the Uihlein Soccer Park facility. (no tax levy impact)
17-2 (No: De Bruin, Weishan) to deem the Crystal Ridge ski hill surplus parkland and direct the Parks Director to perform the tasks necessary to sell the property in 2011, the proceeds of which will be used to pay off outstanding bond debt related to the property and to finance Parks major maintenance projects. (no tax levy impact)
13-6 (No: Borkowski, Cesarz, Mayo, Rice, Sanfelippo, Schmitt) to add a New Parks Capital project to study alternatives to relocate South Shore Beach. (increases tax levy by $40,000)
15-4 (No: De Bruin, Sanfelippo, West, Holloway) to budget $50,000 to repair retaining walls located in Estabrook Park. (no tax levy impact)
14-5 (No: Borkowski, Cesarz, De Bruin, Rice, Sanfelippo) to fund repairs to the O’Donnell Park parking structure, contingent upon County Board approval of a detailed plan for the improvements that will include safety and design elements. (no tax levy impact)
11-8 (No: Borkowski, Cesarz, De Bruin, Jursik, Rice, Schmitt, Sanfelippo, Weishan) to include $5,008,380 in general obligation bonding for the refurbishment of Moody Pool, which closed in 2001. (no tax levy impact; increases general obligation bonding by $5,008,380)
Lots of info to absorb there, but a few quick points:
I’m disappointed in my own Supervisor (Lynne DeBruin) for once again voting against several parks & recreation projects. While she claims to support parks out of one side of her mouth, her consistent opposition to park projects and funding is clear.
I’m very pleased about the Supervisors decision to fund the repairs for O’Donnell Park. I’ve written about this quite frequently in the past, but it is not in the best interests of this community to let O’Donnell Park continue to sit and rot with the ultimate goal of selling off public land to the highest bidder.
I’m also very pleased that Supervisors voted to approve funding for fixing up Moody Pool. For those who aren’t aware, this pool has been shut down since 2002 and has become a major nuisance property in a neighborhood that needs fewer problem properties, not more. It was one of the only pools that served Milwaukee’s north side and it would be great to give the families in that part of town a fun and safe recreation option in the summer. This was a major initiative that I personally pushed for with Supervisors and I’m happy it at least made it into the preliminary budget. We’ll have to work a few of the Supervisors to get a veto proof majority though.