AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Parks and Recreation Department is working to gather information and find solutions to challenges it is facing.
It is all a part of the department’s master plan, which will be presented to the Amarillo City Council.
Parks Board Chair John Ingerson said they are trying to put in the time to find out what citizens think, but also to educate.
“That’s been a big component of this latest master plan that we’re doing, is to really educate the council as well as the citizens on the challenges that we face with the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Ingerson.
One of those challenges being capital funding for assets.
Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Kashuba said in 2019 they had an asset management plan that looked at what they own as a department, which totaled to about 16,000 items in the value of about 100 million.
“With that study, we were indicated that we should be spending somewhere between $3.3 and $3.8 million every year. Our current budget is about $100,000 to fix those existing items. So that leaves a deficit of just over $3 million every year to fix things,” said Kashuba.
Those things being trash cans, toilets, restrooms, and benches, to name a few.
Kashuba said if there is no additional funding, the conversation shifts toward what to do with high-risk assets.
“I think it’s more about what do we do with the assets in those parks, so if there’s not adequate money to fund them, then I think it becomes a question about removal,” said Kashuba.
This is why Ingerson said the most important step is getting the plan to the council.
“I believe very strongly they’ll take that information, and like I said, come up with a good funding source or funding plans for our entire department,” added Ingerson.
Kashuba said without the proper funding, the city may be forced to remove or close some park facilities.
He said they have a survey online right now for citizens to fill out. It will help them prioritize which facilities to fund.
That online survey closes on July 25 at midnight.
That survey can be taken by clicking or tapping here.