WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (November 22, 2019) –
During the November 18, 2019 meeting of the West Palm Beach city commission, the 2020 Parks Bond Referendum was introduced as a new initiative that may go before voters in mid-March for their consideration. If approved, the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $30 million would facilitate widespread improvements and renovations to the City’s many parks. Projects would improve recreational conditions, accessibility, safety and overall quality of life for residents and park patrons. Additionally, the Parks Bond would be repaid from ad valorem taxation. It would not be an additional tax or fee, as property owners have already been paying a parks bond, which expires in September of 2020.
The West Palm Beach parks system is made up of nearly 60 public parks, providing community members with hundreds of amenities. These include playgrounds, walking trails, athletic fields, recreation centers and much more.
In 2000, voters approved a 20-year bond that provided $20 million for park upgrades that were completed as part of the City’s Recreation Strategic Plan of 1997. 20 years later, many of the City’s parks are again facing critical needs to replace playgrounds, improve lighting, resurface parking lots and trails and install infrastructure that would allow for enhanced community amenities and greater activation of parks. One of the main goals of this initiative is to complete the construction, renovation and furnishing of parks and recreation projects, as well as issuing general obligation bonds to fund these undertakings.
If a proposed 2020 Parks Bond is ultimately approved by voters, the rate that citizens should contribute will remain the same as they are currently paying, or decrease, so the only change West Palm Beach residents will notice is renovated recreational areas throughout our city.
The public parks that will benefit from this project are:
- Alice Mickens Park
- Blum Park
- Brian Chappell Park
- Coleman Park
- Currie Park
- Dreher Park
- Echo Lake Park
- Fogelman Park
- Gaines Park and Community Center
- Howard Park and Tennis Center
- Jose Martí Park
- Lake Mangonia Park
- Lincoln Park
- Osprey Park
- Phipps Park
- South Olive Park and Tennis Center
- Sunset Park
- Vedado Park
- Village Paws Park
- Warren Hawkins Aquatic Center
“Parks reflect a city’s identity, quality of life, and livability,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James. “By making investments in West Palm Beach parks and recreation facilities, we can add to the look and feel of our public spaces, improve our residents’ quality of life, and promote health and well-being. If approved, the new parks bond would allow the City to make needed improvements in our neighborhoods.”
Commissioners will vote on Monday, December 2nd
whether to give final approval to the proposed parks bond referendum. If approved by commissioners, a referendum election would be held in conjunction with the regular municipal election on March 17, 2020. To find out where your polling station is, please visit: www.pbcelections.org/Voters/Precinct-Finder
For more information about the proposed 2020 parks bond referendum, please visit: wpb.org/bond
For questions, suggestions or feedback regarding this initiative, please contact the Office of Community Engagement at (561) 822-1200 (TTY
: 1-800-955-8771) or the Parks and Recreation Department’s administrative office at (561) 804-4900 (TTY: 1-800-955-8771).
To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, please visit: www.wpb.org