The Napa Parks and Recreation Department is preparing to implement a financial sustainability strategy to focus funds in areas that serve as large a population as possible.
A strategy visualization shared with the Napa Parks, Recreation and Trees Advisory Board last week lists a range of broad service categories on a scale, ranking how well each aligns with the property. common versus how much they offer an individualized and exclusive benefit.
The table also assigns a range of grants to each category. Services benefiting the common good – open access to parks, community events, education and enrichment activities – receive a suggested high percentage grant range.
For example, community events – which include the city’s July 4th celebration and the Napa Lighted Art Festival – are given a grant range of 90 to 95 percent. Free access to the parks is awarded a 100% subsidy.
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In contrast, the categories that benefit individuals more – specialty business services, rentals, courses, and competitive programs – are assigned a lower grant range.
This means that rentals, such as renting a sports field or renting a senior center, have a suggested subsidy range of 0% to 25%, depending on the table.
Recreation director Katrina Gregory said that in fiscal year 2019-20, the city subsidized about $ 840,000 towards the cost of some of the more individualized services.
“If we could reduce that grant at that end of the scale where there is an individual benefit, then maybe we could reinvest it in areas that could be for the common good or for the whole community.” , said Gregory.
Gregory said some of the work related to the sustainability strategy was used to determine the city’s updated user fees for parks and recreation services that go into effect next year. She added that the ministry is currently reviewing the level of cost recovery for individual programs that can fit into each of the categories listed to see how to incorporate the suggested subsidy ranges.
The sustainability strategy has been in the works since early 2021, with help from 110%, a Colorado-based park consultancy. Commissioners previously rated 10 types of recreational activities in the city on a scale of 1 to 10 in April.
At the time, the parks department was in the middle of a budget cycle trying to prepare for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the city’s finances. A first budget proposal that provided for 39 layoffs would have dissolved the department, but that proposal was withdrawn after the union of city employees and local residents fell back.
The city’s cuts for the 2020-2021 fiscal year – which stemmed from budget cuts and freeze on vacant positions – ended up paying off with a surplus this year, and the city has reinvested in improving local parks, sidewalks and other areas that had previously been cut off.
The $ 1.5 million reinvestment in the Napa city park system is expected to be primarily for playgrounds and park infrastructure, which was also discussed at the commission meeting.
Ali Koenig, parks and recreation management analyst, said staff allocated $ 1 million for playground equipment and upgrades, $ 300,000 for park equipment and $ 200,000 for trails and in the park’s car parks.
“These funds will help us meet our growing capital needs,” Koenig said. “We have an adequate fleet, according to our standards, and we are now focused on maintaining these assets. “
The city has 33 playgrounds and some have multiple sets of play equipment for a variety of age groups. However, more than five of these zones are nearing the end of their 20-year effective lifespan.
The department maintains more than 2,000 amenities; approximately 100,000 linear feet of paved trails; over 20,000 feet of concrete trails; approximately 100 linear feet of alternate forms of pavement along the driveways and 12 parking lots covering approximately 200,000 square feet.
Playground upgrades cost between $ 200,000 and about $ 500,000 depending on the size of the site, Koenig added.
“This funding will help us start to address some of these issues, but we have a larger plan to settle into,” Koenig said.
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You can reach Edward Booth at (707) 256-2213.