Santa Rosa, CA – August 7, 2018 – The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, Aug. 7, to place on the November ballot a one-eighth-cent sales tax for regional and local park improvements.
If approved by two-thirds of voters countywide, the funding measure would support the county and cities with their long-term needs to maintain parks, protect natural resources, recover from wildfires and reduce future fire risks, provide health and recreation programs, and open new parks and trails.
The Board on Tuesday gave final approval to an ordinance creating the “Sonoma County Parks Improvement, Water Quality and Fire Safety Measure” and a resolution that places the measure on the Nov. 6 ballot. If approved by voters, the tax would go into effect in April 2019.
The tax would generate an estimated $11.5 million annually for 10 years, with $7.6 million a year going to Regional Parks and a total of $3.8 million a year going to the county’s nine cities. An integral part of the proposed measure is its expenditure plan, which details how the revenue would be spent, and calls for a citizen oversight committee to ensure the funds are used as intended.
- Passage of the measure would allow Regional Parks to:
- Invest in maintenance of parks, trails, signs, buildings and other infrastructure, including an estimated $20 million in deferred maintenance
- Complete construction of trails and amenities in existing parks
- Improve playgrounds, sports fields, restrooms, picnic areas, and visitor centers
- Improve access to parks by extending or building regional trails, including bike paths, coastal trails, and river trails.
- Open publicly owned parklands that are currently not accessible
- Protect natural resources, including waterways and wildlife habitat
- Reduce wildfire risks through vegetation management
If successful, the measure would allow cities to invest in similar park needs, with individual cities determining how best to prioritize their projects.
To see the Aug. 7 Board report, ordinance, and expenditure plan, go to https://bit.ly/2vDZddX. To read additional materials, including FAQs, visit https://bit.ly/2MlAMx5.
For more information, please contact Regional Parks' Project Manager James Nantell at (707) 565-2041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sonoma County Regional Parks
The Regional Parks system includes 56 parks, beaches, and trails throughout Sonoma County. Regional Parks’ mission is to create healthy communities and contribute to the county’s economic vitality by acquiring, developing, managing, maintaining parks. Regional Parks preserves natural and cultural resources and offers opportunities for recreation and education that enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors.