City of Jacksonville


Es. Date, Time, Place, Attendees

A. Date, Time, Place of Meeting

Date of Meeting: October 12, 2004

Place: Mayor's Office

Time: 3:30 - 5 PM

B. Attendees

      1. T.R. Hainline
      2. Brad Thoburn
      3. Ann Baker
      4. Jody McDaniel
      5. Philip Bruce
      6. Art Graham

II. The Meeting

The group met at the Mayor's office for a subcommittee meeting regarding review of recommendations and findings for parks funding.

The Chairman distributed an outline/ summary of findings from previous meetings, based on discussions of the subcommittee, the governance subcommittee and Mr. Daniel Kleman's presentation.

The Subcommittee discussed the three primary needs related to park funding:

  1. The need for an annual capital improvements budget and an enhanced annual maintenance budget.
  2. The need for a continuing and dedicated funding source for parks, as well as enhanced and additional funding sources.
  3. The need for budget expenditures which are based on objective, plan-driven criteria.

The subcommittee discussed each of these areas in greater detail.

  1. Annual capital improvements budget/enhanced annual maintenance budget:
    • Established an annual capital improvements budget for park lands and park facilities, as distinguished from one-time expenditures (e.g., bond issues).
    • Enhance the annual maintenance budget for planned and existing parks.

The group discussed the Park matrix book compiled by Jody McDaniel. They also discussed Peter Harnik's recommendations. The group discussed the need to expand based on need - not urgent short-term political needs. The group agreed the matrix is a good way to break out the needs.

The subcommittee recognized these as needs that were dependent on identification of dedicated funding source which led to the discussion of the second critical need -- To establish a continuing and dedicated City funding source for park improvements and maintenance; to enhance other existing funding sources; and to provide additional funding sources.

The Subcommittee discussed the following potential funding sources in the outline:

Continuing and dedicated funding source for parks; Enhanced and additional funding sources

Dedicated Funding Source: a dedicated source of funding on a year-to-year basis, similar to the dedicated funding source of the Jacksonville Childrens' Commission, comprised of a variety of sources, including:

    • 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 index.

    • “Dedicated” portion of property taxes (e.g., what otherwise would be subject of mileage rollback).

      Program and user fees, concessions, licensing, sponsorships, naming rights, etc.

    • Tree mitigation fees.

    • Revenues from sale of surplus properties.

Jody McDaniel handed out a copy of an ordinance that requires revenues from sale of surplus land to be used for preservation:

All proceeds from the sale of General Fund surplus City property pursuant to this Part (except Subpart C), less all costs associated with such sale, shall be deposited in the Recreation Lands and Parks Acquisition and Maintenance Trust Fund, as created in Section 110.349, and shall be expended specifically for the purpose of maintaining or acquiring land for recreation, park and conservation uses as set forth in such Section. (Ord. 88-289-142, § 2)

    • Revenues from right-of-way closures (requiring market value to be paid).
    • Exactions and/or fees in lieu of mandatory dedications of parks/recreation land.

    • Exactions permitting additional development rights.

      Fees in lieu of dedications currently required by the Comprehensive Plan.

    • Timber revenue from necessary tree harvesting.

      Wetland mitigation revenue (as permitted under current obligations).

    • Childrens' Commission (for childrens' programs).

    • Fees charged on certain recreational users or activities which rely on park facilities for access or use.

    • Jacksonville Environmental Lands Trust Fund (co-generation plant mitigation).

Requires ordinance establishing dedicated source of funding and its sources, entit(ies) which authorize and administer spending, and parameters of spending, similar to Ordinances 94-229-164 establishing the Jacksonville Childrens' Commission.

Other Existing Funding Source: Enhanced private funding, including:

    • Trusts and foundations (grants and donations).

    • Endowments or conservancies (can cover capital improvements or maintenance).

    • Friends/advocacy groups.

    • Activities groups (e.g., P.A.L., athletic associations).

    • Federal and state funds and grants.

Requires improved staffing for seeking private, federal, and state funding; making existing 501(c)(3) entity more visible for accepting private funding; providing local tax or other incentives for donations.

The Chair emphasized that private funding is a critical piece that demands enhanced attention.

Councilman Graham inquired as to the degree we had looked at other communities.

The Chairman responded that they had and that the Peter Harnik book has a good deal of information on advocacy – private money has a large role in great parks – i.e. The Central Park Conservancy. Concurrence was that all “Great park systems” have a lot of private funding.

Phil Bruce indicated that we have a few examples of private fundraising locally but that it is really limited to a few specific parks.

Commissioner Ann Baker noted there is a desire for private funding, but it is not well organized. She added that greater staff support dedicated to the effort is needed.

Phil Bruce noted that we have great fundraisers locally (i.e., DannyBobBeurenberge, who did fundraising work for the symphony and zoo).

Commissioner Baker asked about how the Zoo operates. It is a line-item in the budget. Operational subsidy – close to break even on admissions. Great park systems have a botanical garden – would be a great asset out by the Zoo.

Additional Funding Sources

  • Localized funding arrangements, for example: special assessments or assessment districts.”
  • Requires ordinances authorizing assessments and/or formation of special districts.
  • The Chairman noted that special assessments increased value paid for by adjacent landowners so they tend to be a good deal for property owners.
  • Improved coordination and cooperation with sister agencies, including:
      • Joint use arrangements with School Board; re-negotiation of Master Joint Use Agreement to provide shared funding.

        It was noted that under joint use agreements with school board we pay for everything so it is not really shared.

      • Right-of-way or property sharing arrangements with JEA, Public Works/JTA/FDOT.

      • Use of regional stormwater facilities (SJRWMD).

      • Interlocal agreements with state and federal agencies.

        Requires improved communication, coordination, and shared funding responsibilities among agencies.

“Structural/Functions issues” that impact funding issues.

  • Eliminating from the Parks and Recreation Department's responsibilities any functions not appropriately in the Department's current scope (e.g., public cemeteries; landscaped medians; special events).

Special events was added back in from earlier discussions. Further noted that landscape medians should be a function of The Public Works Department.

Councilman Graham indicated that we need to clarify ditches in parks – some are some aren't – needs to be clear. Example is 9A and Baymeadows.

  • Selling inaccessible/unusable lands, with revenues going toward dedicated funding source.
  • Outsourcing/privatizing some functions.

Requires reallocation of functions among agencies, sale of lands, and evaluation of outsourcing opportunities.

Need for annual capital improvements and maintenance budget expenditures to be based upon objective, plan-driven criteria.

Mandate that annual capital improvements and maintenance budget expenditures are based upon the Master Recreation Improvement Plan and the associated FOCUS Matrix.

Continue to provide that one-time expenditures (e.g., existing bond issues) may be based upon the current trust fund spending parameters (i.e., equally among City Council districts.)

The concept the funding committee discussed was to keep one-time Bond issue – put into fund divided by district but that Annual capital improvements should be driven by matrix and Master Recreational Improvement plan.

Jody McDaniel noted that we need to develop justification of park expenditure – criteria needs to be established. Can apply to existing bond funding to a certain extent. Provided handout of potential criteria for discussion. Chairman Hainline agreed to incorporate into outline of recommendations. Handout below:


These principles address requirements that should be satisfied before proposals for council expenditures are approved. The principles are organized in the following four categories:


  1. Does this capital outlay support core/priority missions of the parks department?
  2. Are there clearly equal or better alternative uses of the funding to better achieve DPRE goals?
  3. Does the project location match up to the Master Recreation Improvement Plan goals?
  4. How will the project help the parks department with its long term strategic plans?
  5. Has there been an analysis of credible alternatives?
  6. Is this a legitimate 'public use' opportunity?
  7. Does the project demonstrate it can help DPRE achieve its long term goals?
  8. Is the project a priority?


  1. What is the public benefit of the project?
  2. Are all costs understood in advance?
  3. Does the project coordinate effectively with related park projects?
  4. What is the net benefit to the parks department?
  5. Is the project designed to make a unique contribution to the parks department?
  6. Has there been an analysis of credible alternatives?
  7. Are the full annual costs of operating or maintaining the project identified?
  8. Is the benefiting group providing in-kind contributions?
  9. What is the proposed value of the project?
  10. Does the project address a specific interest, problem or need?


  1. What is the long term cost? Administrative costs? Equipment costs? Acquisition costs? Maintenance costs? Indirect costs?
  2. Is the project fully funded?
  3. Does the project estimate and budget for the full annual costs of operating the park
  4. Why should this project be funded? Justify


  1. Are procedures in place to verify the continued safety of the equipment after installation?
  2. What is the city's liability?
  3. Does the project define the required quality capability and performance of the assn/agency to maintain the equipment or facilities?
  4. How will the assn/agency be held accountable?


Priority order Description of Priority


Improving poor/fair parks

Critical safety deficiencies are addressed


Acquiring new park property in needed areas identified by the MRIP

Necessary equipment/facilities or replacement of equipment/facilities


Developing existing park property

New construction or renovation that increase capacity


Assisting private groups to maintain/develop existing parks


Is 'public use' a legitimate opportunity

Additional Discussion

The Committee discussed the issue of charges for out of county residents. No consensus was reached but agreed it should remain an item for consideration.

The Committee discussed how some decisions are dictated and driven by compliance with comprehensive plan level of service requirements. It was noted that specifically that there were shortfalls on fields and courts in planning districts 2, 3 and 6. Phil Bruce indicated that if we brought up district 2, we would have surplus Level of Service for the city as a whole.

The Subcommittee discussed park ratings and what was required to change grade levels. Minimal upgrades – ADA improvements, safety, etc. -- would take from poor to fair. Will spend what we need to get to excellent. Current effort gets us to all fair to good.

Phil Bruce discussed what makes a poor park. It is not just looking good. Some rate out for things that can be brought up quickly and inexpensively. Still it is going to be a substantial investment city-wide just to get to fair/good. Even then there will still be good/fair parks that need major improvements.

Discussion led to the conclusion that there needs to recommend initial funding plug – then recurring funding level.

Phil Bruce discussed concession stands reviews. Much of this is incorporated in the poor parks and they need preventative maintenance.

Jody McDaniel discussed the Park matrix and indicated one matrix does not fit all. Everyone needs to really to know the costs to get to be the best or even adequate. Maintenance is critical piece of getting to being the best. Not just capital.

Councilman Graham asked how the patrons are using the facilities – specifically with regard to concessions.

Phil Bruce responded that we/they need a better preventive maintenance.

Councilman Graham asked about private vendors.

Phil Bruce noted that associations make money off it but often don't take care of it. May need to charge vendors for maintenance. Public buildings take care of the park facilities. There is no pot of money – Public Buildings division does not have preventive maintenance program. Efforts on maintenance are driven by local community efforts. Need to be guidelines here.

Councilman Graham indicated that this is what council bond funds have been used for. They often match neighborhood efforts.

The Subcommittee discussed what the overall funding expectations where for a capital needs. Phil Bruce indicated that the Parks Department is developing an estimate and it is going to be a big number. The Department is responding to Council and to the Task Force by expanding the matrix to include boat ramps and preservation parks. They are not prioritizing active parks v. preservation parks v. boat ramps, only within the categories.

The group noted that we need ask how we would prioritize under a shortfall; i.e. adhering to the Comprehensive Plan. The Subcommittee discussed compliance with the Comprehensive Plan for trails, pools, acreage, fields and courts. It was noted that the Comprehensive Plan can be amended. Pools were given as an example of a possible amendment.

Jody McDaniel noted that the Comprehensive Plan incorporates minimum standards but that these standards exceed the state standards. This is an important point. In discussing amendments to the Comprehensive Plan there was general agreement that there are areas off limits, such as ball fields.

The group concluded that getting to the “Bes” requires public and private resources. It also requires the City to take a look at our staffing commitment.

The Chairman adjourned the meeting and indicated he would call further meetings if needed.