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Election 2012: Willamalane Parks Bond

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — One of the issues on November’s ballot Springfield voters will decide is if they want to pay for several projects at local parks.

It’s asking voters for $20 million over 20 years

Willamalane gathered input from more than 2,000 community members to help it prioritize projects. One of the projects is to develop land along the Mckenzie River and 42nd Street.

Another of the 10 priority projects would put hiking trails, boardwalks and an accessible fishing pier in the Weyerhaeuser-McKenzie Natural Park area.

Another Willamalane wish is to add two synthetic turf fields, outdoor basketball courts and a walking trail to the Willamalane Center.

The bond would cost Springfield residents 34 cents per $1,000 assessed value per year. So the owner of a $124,000 home, which is typical in Springfield, would pay $3.50 per month or $42 per year. Willamalane managers know that could be a tough sell.

“Land values are at an all-time low, as are interest rates, so this is the appropriate time for us to look to acquire some of these key properties, and we have willing sellers who are looking to sell their property, and we would rather have that in public hands,” said Gary Ross, Willamalane Board President.

Another project would be to aquire land along the Thurston Ridgeline to develop hiking and biking trails. If this doesn’t pass, Willamalane says it won’t have the resources to acquire the land and it may not be available for public use.

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