November 2013 Election
7:59 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

River Road Park Seeks Voter Support For Operating Levy

Oregonians will be considering a relatively thin ballot in the coming weeks, dominated by local measures.

In Eugene, voters in the 4000 households in the River Road Park and Recreation District will decide whether to continue supporting their community center.  

The River Road Park and Recreation District covers about 8 square miles in north Eugene. The district's original tax base eroded over the past few decades as the City of Eugene annexed properties in the area.  

The district successfully asked voters in 2008 to make up the difference.  Now that tax is expiring, and the district hopes residents will once again support a 1.2 million dollar, 5-year levy.

River Road Park Superintendent Dale Weigandt says the levy will fund park operations.  

Weigandt: "So basically what we'd have to do if this doesn't pass is we'll have to cut back hours, we'll probably have to eliminate some non-revenue activities.  Those types of things.  Start to shutter down a little bit.  So we're hoping that won't have to happen."

In addition to a park and indoor pool, Weigandt says River Road provides extensive senior services, a popular after-school program, and a gymnastics program that serves 200 kids.  

In spring, the district won a $100,000 grant from EWEB to install a 20-kilowatt solar array.  It's about halfway installed, and Weingardt estimates it will eventually supply about 20% of the facility's power - a big help considering rising utility costs.