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Proposed changes in County parks' maintenance are estimated to produce big savings | News

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Proposed changes in County parks' maintenance are estimated to produce big savings
Proposed changes in County parks' maintenance are estimated to produce big savings

Hillsborough County, FL -- The Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department (PRC) is proposing a series of changes designed to improve the services it provides, while at the same time saving money.

With declining tax revenue, the current business model is not sustainable and changes are necessary.

As part of these proposed changes, the department is recommending to contract all park and athletic field maintenance to local businesses in the community.

This will represent an increase in maintenance frequency to all fields, creating a significant improvement over the current maintenance level and an anticipated cost savings that could reach 40 percent or up to $2 million.

A critical maintenance issue began in 2007 when the County turned over athletic field maintenance to the various youth athletic leagues and volunteer organizations due to budget cuts.

While some leagues were financially able to take on this maintenance level, many struggled with the responsibility and costs to properly maintain large acreages of turf.

Without the proper maintenance and implementation of turf-management best practices, costly capital repairs become routine. Re-sodding a single football field, for example, currently costs the County up to $40,000.

This proposed change in maintenance would mean that PRC would take back the responsibility of maintaining these athletic fields and would establish contracts with local businesses.

This would strengthen the County’s partnership with local leagues, and could allow these sports organizations to redirect the funds once spent in field maintenance directly toward their programs.

Additional information on this and other changes proposed by the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department can be found online at www.hillsboroughcounty.org/parks/strategic/.

For more information, contact Rina Rojas, Parks, Recreation and Conservation at (813) 635-3501.

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