Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Troxclair gives $100K to parks

Council Member Ellen Troxclair is contributing $100,000 to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department this year to put in new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playground equipment in the Dick Nichols District Park and install a shade structure over the playscape in the Latta Tyhurst Neighborhood Park in the Villages at Western Oaks. The District 8 representative noted that this is the third year in a row that she has been able to give at least $30,000 from her office account to the parks department. This year she was able to give a larger amount than before because, in addition to the $30,000 she has saved from various part-time positions in her office, she still had about $75,000 left from winning Austin Resource Recovery’s 2016 recycling challenge. She said she had planned to use that money for a dog park in her district, but that turned out to be too expensive. In addition, she said the recycling money had “specific requirements on what it could be used for and it was a stretch to use it for the dog park but it fit perfectly for the playground.” As a fiscal conservative, Troxclair has advocated lower tax rates, and she said that someone had asked her why she did not use the money that way. However, she said that would’ve been impractical and would not have resulted in a benefit specifically to her district because she would have only been able to return the money to the city’s General Fund. She said she was shocked to learn that Dick Nichols Park did not already have ADA-compliant playground equipment, and, as for the shade structure, the need is pretty obvious. She said she expects both projects to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.

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