Parks Replacement Bond Completes Successful Fourth Year of Citywide Park Improvements
Annual report demonstrates strong performance, accountability, and opportunity
(Portland, OR) – City Council will receive the Parks Replacement Bond Year 4 Annual Report on Wednesday.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the Parks Replacement Bond in 2014, which dedicated up to $68 million in repairs and improvements to some of the most critical needs in the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) system.
“The bond has been a big success,” says Parks Commissioner Nick Fish. “This year’s report demonstrates strong performance, accountability, and opportunity. Thanks to the voters for saying ‘yes’ to fixing our parks, to my colleague Commissioner Amanda Fritz for her leadership in championing the measure, and to the PP&R team for delivering great results.”
“The Fix Our Parks bond measure funded needed repairs in parks all over Portland,” says former Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “I am grateful to the voters for recognizing that we must take care of aging infrastructure in our treasured neighborhood gathering places, and to Parks staff who have made wise use of every penny allocated in the program.”
The annual report highlights three key successes – performance, accountability, and opportunity:
Performance – Thirty-four projects are complete. The final eighteen are underway, with five ahead of schedule. All 52 projects will be completed within the overall bond budget of $68 million.
Accountability – An independent auditor, Harvey M. Rose Associates, completed a performance audit in January 2019. The findings confirmed that funds are being spent according to the promises made to voters, that program managers are financially responsible, and that bond dollars are clearly and accurately tracked. A second audit will be completed at the conclusion of the bond work.
Opportunity – Parks is committed to contracting equity. The City has a target of 20% disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small business (D/M/W/ESB) contractor utilization. Parks has exceeded those goals with 31% of professional and technical contracts (like engineering and landscape design) and 41% of construction contracts being awarded to D/M/W/ESB firms.
“It is immensely gratifying to see the bond projects being completed and enhancing neighborhoods throughout the City,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “And it’s important to note that PP&R works extensively to engage the public in large-scale bond projects. This helps us reflect our increasingly diverse community’s needs and desires in projects.”
Bond investments include:
- Playground replacements and repairs
- Roof replacements
- Footbridge replacements on trails
- Improved accessibility and ADA compliance
- New mechanical systems and other swimming pool improvements
- Visitor and employee safety enhancements
- Restroom improvements