What Will the Levy REALLY Pay For?

The proposed 2017-2022 MAPARD budget is a blueprint for how funds from the Levy Proposition #1 on the November ballot will be spent to benefit all the communities in the District. The levy will cover some funds for office, startup, and community recreation grants, but most of the levy basically covers the salary and benefits for an Executive Director, a part-time assistant, and an Americorp intern. Their jobs will be to:
♦ Coordinate and provide administrative support for many existing recreational programs. Most, if not all of those programs currently rely on volunteers who eventually burn out or drop out, leaving big holes in the continuity of the programs. We want our staff to provide the administrative continuity that will allow the volunteers to focus on the organizational elements that they really volunteered for.
♦ Develop new programs and reinstate lapsed programs that benefit all the communities in the District. Some examples include:
  – senior activities and regular bus trips to local attractions such as wine experiences, scenic excursions, art & craft classes, etc.,
  – regular movie nights rotating around to each of the District communities,
  – organized activities in the White Salmon pool, such as water aerobics, kayak roll classes, underwater hockey, etc.
♦ Work with our communities and organizations to identify and prioritize recreational projects that are needed and desired, such as maintaining, upgrading, or developing local parks and playgrounds, sport facilities, community centers, community gardens, etc. A portion of the levy is intended to provide limited seed funding for these projects and programs.
♦ Secure federal, state, local, and private grants for developing these programs and projects. The intent is for grants to get projects done and programs started. Once established, program user fees are expected to make them self-sustaining.
♦ Recruit participants and volunteers to help keep the programs and projects going.

Considering the work it will take to do all this, it is expected to take at least the 3 paid staff plus a cadre of volunteers to develop and sustain a viable set of recreation programs for the entire district. However, a broad ranging vision for a region the size of the district can only be efficiently and effectively coordinated through something like a district-wide park & rec organization. That was the underlying reason why the voters approved the Mt Adams Park & Rec District in the first place. Though it is likely the proposed budget will see significant adjustments over its six-year term, it is a plan that can make that vision a reality.

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