Edwin Bly is taking an afternoon walk through the parkway near the William Pond entrance in Carmichael. It’s become a routine for Bly who says he visits the parkway about five times a week.
"I’m supposed to do a couple miles of walk anyway according to my doctor so might as well do it here….especially this time of year when trees start turning colors, it’s really pretty down here."
Bly lives about a mile from the parkway. He says he would support an assessment fee.
"Oh, I think it’s a good idea. I’m all for it. It’s a bargain for what we get here."
The proposed fee would vary depending on where you live. Property owners closest to the river would pay between $18 and $48….those who live from a ½ mile to 3 miles away would pay between $9 and $24. Parkway advocates say it’s getting harder to maintain the 23-mile recreation area that stretches through Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Folsom.
"The parkway budget has long been challenged."
John O’Farrell is a consultant working with local governments on the proposed assessment. He says right now, funding for the parkway ebbs and flows depending on Sacramento County’s overall general budget.
"It has not been a stable source of funding so we are looking to improve upon that funding picture."
A financial needs study commissioned by the county found that the parkway needs an extra $1.5 million per year to maintain trails, wildlife habitats and recreation areas.
Tim Howe lives about a block away from the parkway. He says he’s inclined to support the assessment but says other users should pay their fair share and suggests tighter controls on parking in neighborhoods around the parkway.
"…then people would drive in and park, pay their $4 or you know people that don’t live near the parkway who possibly would not have the tax assessment would then contribute also."
Today and tomorrow, property owners around the parkway will receive a mail-in survey on what they think of the proposed assessment. Survey results are expected to be announced in mid November.