To establish a continuing, dedicated funding source for parks which is protected from the annual budget review process; to provide additional funding sources; and to enhance existing funding sources.
I. Continuing, Dedicated Funding Source: a protected 'Trust Fund' model, with a variety of sources, including:
How to ensure Parks are not competing with other City interests for funding?
Protected fund? Dedicated source?
Enjoyment index concept should be modeled so that it is one piece of the formula that determines funding and so that it is not a punitive measure.
Mr. Hainline shared his findings from research on the City's Ordinance Code related to City Trust Funds. There are trust funds for Hanna and Huguenot parks, for tree mitigation, and a fund for parks across Council Districts. In most cases, appropriating funds from the Trust Funds requires City Council approval.
A. Committed 'Base funding': some level of funding from the general fund (e.g., current level of budget funding), subject to an adjustment for growth and/or usage and/or enjoyment index.
B. 'Dedicated' portion of property taxes (e.g., what otherwise would be subject of millage rollback).
C. User fees, concessions, sponsorships, naming rights, etc.
D. Federal and state funds and grants.
E. Timber revenue from necessary harvesting.
F. Mitigation revenue.
Overview of City's Wetland Mitigation Bank – First $18 million generated through sale of credits goes into the accounts which purchased the bank. After that, profits are supposed to be used for parks. Is there a way to bond the future revenue to utilize the funds in advance as Walt suggested? 10 years = estimate for when accounts would be paid back. There is the possibility of generating revenue on other Preservation properties through mitigation as well (i.e. lands that need to be restored).
G. Exactions and/or fees in lieu of mandatory dedications of parks/recreation land.
1. Exactions permitting additional development rights.
2. Fees in lieu of dedications currently required by the Comprehensive Plan.
Requires ordinance establishing protected fund and its sources, entit(ies) which control and authorize spending, and parameters of spending.
Exactions and/or fees – Add Jacksonville Environmental Land Trust to the list. $300K per year. There needs to be a governmental structure in place to oversee these funds and potential uses.
II. Enhanced Existing Funding Source: enhanced private funding, including:
A. Trusts and foundations (grants and donations).
B. Endowments or conservancies (can cover capital improvements or maintenance).
C. Friends/advocacy groups.
D. Activities groups (e.g., P.A.L., athletic associations).
Requires improved staffing for seeking private funding; making existing 501(c)(3) entity more visible for accepting private funding; providing local tax or other incentives for donations.
501(c)3 in existence now is Preservation North Florida. Can work with this organization and modify to evolving needs or start new one. The non-profit that is utilized for this purpose has office space in Ribault Club. Suggestion: Have two 501 (c) 3s; one for volunteer coordination and the other for private fundraising. Don't have too many not-for-profits though or the message gets diluted.
Park rental and licensing fees such as go cart track; cell tower
III. Additional New Funding Source: fees charged on certain recreational users or activities, for example:
A. Fee charged to cruise ship guests.
B. Additional charge for jet ski registration or rental.
Fees – Another example could be Boater registration fees to be used to create more water access.
Other examples mentioned to be in use = bed tax, rental car surcharge
Combination of user fees and surcharges.
Program fees such as suggested by Mr. Burkeen.
Requires ordinances authorizing fees.
IV. Additional New Funding Source: localized funding arrangements, for example:
A. Special assessments or assessment districts.
Requires ordinances authorizing assessments and/or formation of special districts.
V. Additional Funding Source: Improved coordination and cooperation with sister agencies, including:
A. Joint use arrangements with School Board.
Renegotiation of the master joint use agreement with the school board comes up every 5 years. Opportunity to reevaluate capital and maintenance cost sharing.
B. Right-of-way or property sharing arrangements with JEA, Public Works/JTA/FDOT.
C. Use of regional storm water facilities (SJRWMD).
Requires improved communication and coordination among agencies.
VI. Other funding sources:
A. Tree mitigation fees.
B. Children's Commission.
Timucuan Trails State and National Parks Partnership brought funding to the region – example is Ribault Club. Not just from grants, but from matching funds. Additional interlocal agreements with other agencies could enhance revenue.
VII. Structural/functions issues:
A. Eliminating from the Parks and Recreation Department's responsibilities any functions not appropriately in the Department's current scope (e.g., special events).
B. Outsourcing/privatizing some functions.
Requires reallocation of functions among agencies and evaluation of outsourcing opportunities.
- DPRE manages COJ's artificial reef permit. This could be eliminated/ outsourced; or could simply be example of how the Department needs to have resource experts on staff.
- Surplus of parklands without access, etc. There is an ordinance that says that when any City land is surplussed, the funds are supposed to go toward Parks.
- Maintenance of cemeteries and medians may be better suited to be managed by the Landscape Division in Public Works.
- Landscape contracts could be renegotiated.
- Increased operational funds with increased capital funds. If you build it, you must maintain it. Need to build in a method for on-going funding. A one-time bond fund does not look at long term capital needs or ongoing operational needs.
- There is not equitable parkland distribution for some planning districts (Mandarin, Beaches, Arlington)
- Expenditures need to be mission related and support the overall plan.
- Annual accounting of capital and operations/ maintenance spending on an equitable, planned, objective basis. Input from Council, planners, administration, public, etc. but someone needs to have ultimate control.
- Holding regular public meetings is key.
- How much $ will we need 5, 10, 15 years from now in order to have a successful park system?
Mr. Hainline adjourned the meeting.