Want better parks? Or just want your own neighborhood park to be better?
A new county fund could make it easier to put up the cash to help make that happen, said Rafael Payan, director of Pima County's Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation Department.
The Board of Supervisors will consider the Parks Operation and Enhancement Fund on Tuesday. The fund would provide the public with a more direct way to donate money for operating and improving county parks.
As it is now, if someone wants to make a specific donation to a park, he or she has to donate through the County Parklands Foundation, a nonprofit organization that lets donors specify on what park their money will be spent and how it will be used.
"They could give their money to the county," Payan said, "but because we don't have an enterprise fund we don't have a vehicle for them to do so. By establishing this fund, if the public wants to make a donation, they will now have two options," he said.
Payan said his department gets a lot of requests from potential donors.
"Sometimes the public would rather donate to the government than a nonprofit," he said.
County Supervisor Ann Day said she isn't sure how much the fund will help, but anything is better than nothing.
"It's called an enhancement fund, but it's more like an endowment fund," she said. "I support anything that helps our parks."
Supervisor Ramón Valadez said the fund could help produce revenue for public parks, and the county has the legislative authority to create it.
The board will also consider creating a Publication and Souvenir Revolving Fund, to use money from a booklet the county sells to pay for other publications, Payan said.
Will Ferguson is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing at the Star. He's at 573-4142 or firstname.lastname@example.org