Tucson planners build parks strategy after passage of Prop. 407

Tucson planners build parks strategy after passage of Prop. 407
Some of Tucson's parks will see improvement projects funded by Prop. 407 beginning in 2020. (Source: Google Maps)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - After Proposition 407 passed last week, granting $225 million in general obligation bonds to improve city park amenities, the city of Tucson is in the initial stages of planning and prepping for future renovations to city parks and bike paths.

Brent Dennis, the director of parks and recreation for city, said it’s a very exciting time because of the infusion of reinvestment dollars that will go into Tucson parks and bike paths as a result of Prop. 407.

Right now, Dennis says the city is working on a strategic action plan that’s focused on internal goals like staying under budget and exceeding the expectations of Tucsonans while also trying to make things fair and balanced so that all parks get the same attention.

The reason the city is planning and not actively renovating parks is because the first group of bonds issued, that will generate $55 million of the $225 million, don’t happen until July of 2020. That money, Dennis says, will go to the first wave of park renovations.

“Our first group of projects, we’re really calling them our low hanging fruit projects,” he said. “So we want to really make a big splash in terms of highly visible and more cost-effective improvements that people will see fairly quickly happening in the parks across the city.”

Dennis said that city planners are considering the seasonality of city parks and working to find ways to let the community continue to access parks while renovations are underway.

Dennis says one of the Parks and Recreation office’s big efforts is starting the request for proposal process so that architects and engineers can get their resumes in to the city. That way they can bid on design and engineering work, and the city can stay on track to have projects up and running in 2020.

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