It’s no secret that our neighborhood could use a few more parks. We’ve been taking a lot of new development and density, but the only new park that has been built in recent memory is Homer Harris Park at 24th & Howell. As a dog owner, I think there’s a definite need for a dog park somewhere in the neighborhood. The closest one is Genesee, and between $4.50 gas and $150 off-leash tickets, it’s making it pretty hard to get good exercise for our 4-legged family members.
The city council is considering putting a new parks levy on the ballot in November, and they’ve created a draft list of projects that would be included in such a plan. The good news is that the “Central East” area that includes the CD is scheduled to get 9.45% of the total amount in the levy – the most of any of the 6 sub-areas of the city. The bad news is that none of that money will go into new parks for the neighborhood, with the majority of the funding instead going to major remodeling at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center.
I think everyone will agree that Langston Hughes is a crucial cultural institution for the CD. And having been in there recently, I can personally attest to its need for some TLC. But given the clear need for more park space, does it make sense to spend so much on a single building? For example, is there a way to do a slightly smaller project to cover the most pressing needs at Langston and then have some funding left over for a new neighborhood park?
You’ve got a chance to speak out on Tuesday at 5:30pm when a city parks committe will take public testimony to help determine which projects will be included in a final version of the levy.
You can also find the entire list of projects on the City Council’s website.
(h/t to WSB for the head’s up on the Levy)