Consumnes CSD Board Approves Park Maintenance

The Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors has adopted park maintenance reductions in two areas east of Highway 99 followin...

The Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors has adopted park maintenance reductions in two areas east of Highway 99 following property owners’ rejection of new benefit assessments to meet increasing costs

In a special meeting June 24, the CSD Board approved staff recommendations that reduce funding to match available revenue beginning with the new fiscal year, July 1, in the Central Elk Grove and Elk Grove West Vineyard areas. Property owners in the two areas rejected new benefit assessments by 66 percent.

The CSD Board also adopted a new benefit assessment approved by property owners in the Camden area on a 55 percent vote. Property owners’ approval of a new assessment of about $10 per month will allow the CSD to continue watering and landscaping at current standards in the area, and also provide funds for replacing aging play structures and other facilities in older parks.

For the Central Elk Grove and Elk Grove West Vineyard areas where new benefit
assessments failed, the CSD Board approved implementation of reductions in
landscape maintenance contracts and watering, less staff time, elimination of supplies and landscape improvements, and closure of some restrooms.

``This is fair and balanced,’’ said Gil Albiani, President of the CSD Board of Directors. ``Everybody’s going to hurt a little bit.’’ The CSD Board asked staff members to meet with residents or community groups as soon as possible to explore possible alternatives to cost reductions.

The CSD sought property owners’ approval of new benefit assessments equaling about $7 to $10 per month due to dramatically increasing water rates, utility bills and other costs associated with maintaining parks in three areas east of Highway 99. The mail-in balloting procedure took place over a 45-day period that began May 1.

The CSD has implemented spending cutbacks and has kept district residents apprised of the situation, advising them that at some point it would be necessary to either reduce services or seek additional assessments in the three underfunded areas.

While nine of the CSD’s Landscape and Lighting (L&L) benefit zones are financially stable, funds cannot be transferred from one zone to another. Only property owners in a particular zone can approve benefit assessments in their area, under state law. Benefit assessments are then used for maintaining parks and playgrounds, landscaped roadside corridors and some street medians within those zones.

More information on cost-reduction procedures in Central Elk Grove and Elk Grove West Vineyard parks and corridors is available at the CSD website, www.yourcsd.com, or by calling 916-405-5300. A brief description of the adopted staff report follows:

Elk Grove West Vineyard Park Assessment District
--L&L Zones Affected
-- Zone 3 Elk Grove West Vineyard
--$544,503 in reductions needed due to failed vote
--40% reduction in budget
--Recommended Cost Reductions – Fiscal Year 2009-10:
--Reduce landscape services, water – parks and corridors
--Eliminate new park construction: Sheldon Place, MacDonald – Phase 2
--Eliminate new landscaping projects
--Capital Replacement – no new funds generated
--More cuts anticipated in Fiscal Year 2010-11

Zone 6 --Central Elk Grove
--$427,548 in reductions needed due to failed vote
--43% reduction in budget
--Recommended Cost Reductions – Fiscal Year 2009-10:
-- Reduce landscape services, water – parks and corridors
--Eliminate asset repairs (turf, horseshoe pits) and asset upkeep (tree removal)
--Close 2 of 5 restrooms in Elk Grove Park – reduce staffing
--Capital Replacement – no new funds generated
--Deficit requires using Capital Replacement savings for operation expenses
--More cuts anticipated in Fiscal Year 2010-11

Zone 9 – Waterman Park Village
(9B – Fallbrook & 9C Hampton Village)
--$197,500 in reductions needed due to failed vote
--40% reduction in budget
--Recommended Cost Reductions – Fiscal Year 2009-10:
--Reduce maintenance services, water – parks and corridors. Mow every 14 days.
--Eliminate new park construction: Van Doren Park, Phase 2
--Eliminate turf and plants
--3.2 acres of 14.7 acres (22%) in parks
--0.7 of 2.9 acres (24%) in corridors
--Close restroom in Hill Park – reduce staffing
--Capital Replacement – no new funds generated
--More cuts anticipated in Fiscal Year 2010-11

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