The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department faces $125 million in deferred maintenance each year, ranging from playground maintenance and aquatics needs to mowing and servicing trash and recycling receptacles. What would be your strategy for addressing this need?

Steve Adler


For too long, we’ve focused on the magnitude of the challenge, rather than concentrating on doing many meaningful things that can materially add up over time. We need to be more disciplined about timely doing maintenance and systematically catching up on deferred maintenance. I’m proud this Council just passed a budget that, for the first time in a while, fully funds maintenance and which designated $1 Million of these funds for application in our parks. We need to continue the expansion of conservancies to help with park support and maintenance. I insisted upon and we were able to get on-going maintenance costs to be part of the initial finance and funding plan for the Waller Creek linear parks so as to not increase demands on the on-going parks budgets and that is a model we need to make routine. I’m also open to partnering agreements that would lead to more revenue for parks, if the right opportunity is identified and has community and stakeholder support. And we need to utilize finance options, as this Council just did as part of the recent budget just approved, to fund recycling bins with contractual obligations.