BRYANT, Ark. – City parks are a place for recreation and relaxation, but that could soon come to an end in Bryant.
The city parks director said all of the funds used for upkeep and upgrades are now all used up, leaving the future up to the city council and the community.
Local parks are for families to spend some fun time in the sun, get their daily exercise or just come relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Although, after funds ran out for the upkeep of Bryant Parks Director Chris Treat worries about the future.
“How the park is funded affects public safety, it affects the street department, it affects the administration, so not only will the parks suffer but the budget as a whole will suffer,” said Treat.
Treat said the city of Bryant has experienced not having funds before.
“We are back where we were between 08′ and 17′ and we will see our parks decline with no funding source for major repairs or improvements,” Treat said.
So they began to use city savings, a bond issue, and other funding sources to be able to fix and renovate many parks.
This summer, all of those funds, Treat said that they have used for the past seven years, are all dried up.
“If anything breaks down, if we have any major repairs, little by little those things won’t be able to be replaced,” Treat said.
Treat said after a survey was done they have a master plan of projects and improvements people in the city wanted completed.
“Not only are our parks going to fall apart, also there will be no way to execute the plan that the residents of Bryant have told us they want,” Treat stated.
Now they are calling on the city council to pass an ordinance that would allow the people to vote on an advertising, marketing, and promotion tax that would give the parks department $1.5 million every year.
“This decision on what council is going to designate will determine will determine the future of the parks here in Bryant,” Treat said.
The ordinance will be read for the second time at the end of July and a third time in August.
If it gets approved, the people of Bryant will be able to vote on it in November.
If it does not get approved, with the current ordinance, there will be a 25% decline in funds, which Treat said means they will only have funds to keep doors open.