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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A new parks and recreation master plan points to the need
for the City of Toledo to dedicate new funding and develop new partnerships to
boost recreational opportunities.
The report by Pros Consulting, which cost taxpayers
$25,000 to produce, shows parks and recreation funding in Toledo has been low
compared to other cities. Data from 2011 shows the city per capita spending on
parks and recreation was $40.72, while the Midwest average was $73.
The master plan recommends the city should focus on
developing regional-style facilities, such as a mega outdoor sports complex and
a family water park.
"In many other cities throughout the Midwest, there's a
real concentration about the economic driver and impact of the parks," says
Councilwoman Lindsay Webb.
Webb was a supporter of the failed parks and recreation
levy request, and while that's a funding recommendation in the report, it also
says the city should dedicate one percent of its annual capital budget for
parks and recreation. Councilman George Sarantou says right now that's not
"Until the economy continues to improve at a level where
we've got extra money, we don't have to dip into the CIP to pay our general
fund bills, we really can't have that discussion," he said.
Sarantou says for now the city should focus on replacing
damaged playground equipment and making sure the grass is being mowed at city
While the master plan is still in final draft form, Webb
says there needs to be a roadmap to improve the quality of life and help
attract people to the Glass City.
"I most certainly am going to support whatever efforts I
can to get as much resources as I can into recreational opportunities for our
children," she said.