By Patrick McNamara for Arizona Daily Star
For many, their closest connection to local governments comes through the parks systems.
Regional parks are where families come for sporting events, picnics and community events. Many others use park amenities individually, from swimming pools to golf courses, or the region’s extensive trails and bicycle path systems.
“I think parks meet a huge need in an urban community,” said Dane Woll, president and CEO of the YMCA of Southern Arizona.
Pima County officials have sought to improve and expand the regional park systems with a $191.5M improvement plan on the November ballots.
Listed as Prop. 428: Parks and Recreation Facilities on the seven-question, $815.7M bond package, the proposal includes new construction, improvements and expansions among 48 parks projects.
Supporters of the proposal say the region needs more and better park facilities to add to the quality of life and help economic development by making the region more attractive to outsiders.
A particular interest to Woll and the YMCA is a $6M proposal to build a YMCA facility on 10 acres the University of Arizona plans to donate near the UA Tech Park, 9070 S. Rita Road.
The organization plans to raise $6M in matching funds for construction, and would foot the bill for maintenance and operations.
The Kino Complex proposal calls for purchasing additional property south of the existing facilities to develop additional sports fields and a tournament complex.
Another Kino-area project calls for $2.3M for repurposing Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium and Kino Sports Complex as a multisport facility for youth, amateur baseball and professional sports.
The plan would also allow the facilities to function as venues for concerts, the gem show and other events.
Another project in Prop. 428 includes a $3.5M plan to build a velodrome, an oval bicycle track with steep, banked turns.
The proposal calls for a 2,000-seat facility that could be used to hold various events.
The county plans to partner with the nonprofit Perimeter Bicycling Association of America to operate the facility.
The group has agreed to help raise an additional $1.5M to fund construction.
Initial estimates put the annual economic impact of the velodrome at $12M.
Read more at Arizona Daily Star