Voters in Tucson may be looking at an unprecedentedly large general obligation bond this November that will fund up to $225 million in city-wide park construction and upgrade projects.
Members of the Tucson City Council have given their preliminary approval to placing the bond question on this fall’s ballot, arguing that the city’s well-used parks are in dire need of upgrading.
If the proposal finally makes it to the ballot and is approved by voters, the bond will fund upwards of three hundred individual park and recreation center projects.
Those projects include the construction of new baseball and soccer fields, splash pads, playgrounds, bathrooms, and walking and biking paths.
An initial breakdown of the bond calls for $105 million to be spent on general city park upgrades and improvements; $13 million for the construction of aquatic facilities across Tucson; $10 million for new sports field lighting; and just over $5 million for improvements to two city-run golf courses.
The largest segment of the bond, representing some $67 million in funding, would go for safety improvements for pedestrians and bike-riders, which could result in the installation of new traffic signals throughout the city.
City officials say that the use and pressure on the more than 120 parks owned and operated by Tucson has increased, along with a population boom that has added some 50,000 new residents in the last decade and a half for a current population of 535,000.
A more thorough proposal detailing each project to be funded is expected to be presented to the city council early next month, in front of a deadline for getting the question on the November ballot.
By Garry Boulard
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