Lane County Parks Levy passes
Tax will fund improvements at North Jetty, Westlake, Benders Landing, other area parks
Nov. 15, 2022 — Parks from the North Jetty on the coast to Mt. Pisgah in the valley will reap the benefits of last week’s passing of Lane County Ballot Measure 20-335.
As of last count released on Nov. 10, “yes” votes led “nos” 103,105 to 68,596, a difference too large to be made up from ballots not yet counted.
The measure’s passing will allow a five-year property tax levy to raise money to improve and maintain parks owned and managed by Lane County.
“Seeing the early and strong support is incredible,” said Lane County Parks Manager Brett Henry. “We know our parks are special places and so do Lane County voters. If this levy does ultimately receive the support of a majority of voters, we look forward to making our parks more welcoming, more safe, and increasing our ability to be good environmental stewards.”
The levy, which would raise approximately $31 million over five years, would help address the backlog of deferred maintenance in Lane County’s most visited parks, as well as invest in updated facilities, restoration, education, trail improvements and more.
Lane County Parks does not receive property tax funding and relies primarily on user fees and tourism-related taxes for support. The Lane County Parks system includes nearly 70 properties and current funding levels do not provide enough support for adequate maintenance and investment in park facilities.
The estimated tax rate for this levy is $0.16 per $1,000 of assessed value. The median Lane County homeowner is estimated to pay an average of $38 per year for five years.
Specific to the Florence area, this levy would allow Lane County Parks to:
- Improve the parking lot, restrooms and access at North Jetty
- Improve access to Siltcoos Lake at Ada and Westlake
- Improve access to the Siuslaw River at Benders Landing and Mapleton Landing
- Make repairs and improvements at Archie Knowles, Camp Lane, Harbor Vista and Linslaw parks
- The improvements at North Jetty, north of Florence, will cost approximately $600,000 and is the most expensive project on the “Proposed Special Projects List” included as part of the levy.
In addition to those improvements in western Lane County, numerous other parks around Lane County also benefit.
Larger projects also included are:
- Investments at Mt. Pisgah, Baker Bay, Armitage and Richardson parks
- Improving water recreation access at Fern Ridge Reservoir and along the McKenzie and Willamette rivers
- Improved security patrols focused on visitor and property safety
- Repair, renovation or replacement of restrooms, water systems, camping and boating facilities
- Restoration of natural areas, including projects improving water quality
- Trail work and educational programs at Mt. Pisgah
- $500,000 to help with the funding of a regional pickleball facility located on the Lane Community College campus.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office work crew would also get additional funding for security and support.
One of the major improvements that would be made at almost all park locations is improved compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
More information about the levy can be found at www.LaneCountyParksLevy.org.