City may put $185 million parks bond on ballot

A $185 million bond measure may go on San Francisco’s November ballot as a means to address the $1.7 billion repair and maintenance estimate for city parks.

The San Francisco Recreation and Park department is scheduled to meet today to discuss the bond measure and possibly vote to place it on the ballot.

If approved on Nov. 7, the general obligation bond's largest outlay would include $124 million dedicated specifically to neighborhood parks, as opposed to so-called “legacy properties” such as Monster Park. It also includes $35 million earmarked for waterfront parks operated by the Port of San Francisco.

According to a San Francisco Recreation and Park Department memo, various public-input sessions illuminated citizens’ desire to see broken park facilities fixed, neighborhood parks improved and bathrooms restored.

The bond also includes $14 million earmarked for all park restrooms, $9 million to improve playing fields, $2 million for tree planting and $1 million for a fund to provide grants to neighborhood groups.

Since 1987, voters have approved five park bonds totaling $281 million, San Francisco Recreation and Park planning director Dawn Kamalanathan said at a May forum at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.

In addition to the park bonds, $50 million came from two bonds leveraged against The City’s open space fund, Kamalanathan said. However, $153 million in voter-approved bond money went to specific projects such as the zoo, Golden Gate Park and the Steinhart Aquarium.

The commission is due to meet at 2 p.m. in room 416 of San Francisco City Hall.

amartin@examiner.com  

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