The Springwater Parks and Community District concepts will be discussed at the Fairview City Council meeting at 7:00 PM, Wednesday August 19th at Fairview City Hall Council Chambers, 1300 NE Village St., Fairview, OR 97024. The new district could include the four small cities and its school districts. The special services district would use shared governance to strategically invest new funding in existing pools, school facilities and sports fields while leveraging recreation resources to increase youth and family recreation opportunities in the East County. Residents, sports and community parks and recreation advocates are invited to attend the meeting to share their support.
East County’s rapidly growing population has vastly outpaced funding levels for community services and parks. Over-all investment in parks and recreation is far behind other communities of similar size. The long term disinvestment in services, parks and natural areas has reduced development while exacerbating problems of crime, poverty and public health.
Facing a challenge to ‘catch-up’ to attain the numbers of community centers, established parks, trails and community services that residents want and need, advocates believe that the four small cities and the school districts can work together to manage critical operations, make investments in existing facilities and develop the new facilities and services that are needed.
The City of Gresham’s “Rise, Advance, Dream” website, where citizens vote on posted ideas, the overwhelming majority of responses are directly related to parks and community services. One idea posted, (with several hundred votes), is;
“Our city is over 100,000 citizens. We have NO place to: take our children for activities, fitness, etc. We have no place to have community meetings, events, etc. other than the library.”
Eighteen months of research and outreach on the part of volunteers and advocates has provided clear concepts for an East County services district. The next required step is a regional feasibility study. The study will provide a clear analysis of the economic and fiscal implications giving voters the information they need to make an informed decision. The most cost effective way to accomplish the feasibility study is for cities and schools work together.
The Springwater Parks and Community District the group has gone before the City of Fairview and Troutdale parks committees, the City of Gresham natural resources committee and the Wood Village council to present their ideas. Advocates believe that voters want to make smart future investments in green infrastructure to benefit the economy and the community. A parks and community district feasibility study is required so that a future vote on the Springwater Parks and Community district can be a reality.