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To the Editor,
Among my favorite experiences both from childhood and parenthood is going to the park for an afternoon of jungle gyms, monkey bars, and memories. Our city parks are true community assets, places where families, friends, and neighbors can enjoy each other and the outdoors.
Today, however, many of our city parks are struggling. The Legacy Amendment dedicated tax, approved by voters in 2008, was meant to provide funding for cultural, arts, and outdoors projects—including city parks. Our local parks and recreation administrators were encouraged to support the amendment and were told they would receive much-needed funds; however, once implemented by the legislature, the Legacy Amendment has left our city parks empty-handed.
Instead of providing funds to city parks in places like Andover, Coon Rapids, and Ham Lake, money is being given to entities including the Three Rivers Park District that already have taxing authority. I understand the wide range of projects and places Legacy Amendment funds are applicable, but I am disappointed to learn that while our parks are at risk of closing for lack of funds, money is provided to those that have the ability to raise their own.
As your representative, I will work during the 2010 session to assist city parks and recreation departments in receiving fair and equitable funding. All of us take enjoyment and pride in our city parks, and the whole community benefits from a strong, stable parks and recreation department. Our city parks and recreation administrators deserve the support they were promised, and our residents deserve the benefits city parks provide. City parks are a place to create memories, and I do not want them to become simply a topic of reminiscence.
State Representative, District 49A-Andover
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