ROCHESTER, Minn. - After voters approved a tax increase to improve Rochester's park system, city leaders are discussing how the new revenues might be spent.
Officials with Rochester's Parks and Recreation Department and Park Board presented their 2021 priorities to city council members Monday. In total, they propose spending roughly $2.6 million on an array of projects this year.
The Park Board would like the bulk of funds to go toward park and forestry improvements this year, with the biggest individual sums of money being spent on improvements to Game Haven Sports Park and Cascade Lake Park.
City council members provided feedback on the plan, with some expressing concern about the data used to establish this year's priorities, which they say was collected between 2015 and 2016.
"Our community has grown significantly in the last four-to-five years," said Council Member Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick. "I think if we could beef up some community engagement through Polco, through the neighborhood associations to really make sure the money is going to be spent where indeed the people are asking for it to be spent, I think that would be phenomenal."
Members of the Park Board and Parks Department will now review the feedback they received from council members, and revise their priorities before presenting them to the council again at a future date.
The Park Board says they've identified between $80 million and $100 million worth of improvements that need to be made in the coming years.