On June 19, 2019, the Cosumnes Community Services District (District) Board conducted two public hearings to tabulate votes for two proposed overlay assessments within Benefit Zone 3 - Elk Grove/West Vineyard, Camden Estates & Camden Pointe Improvement District and Perry Ranch Improvement District.
In each case more than 50 percent of the weighted votes favored the special benefit assessments, and as a result the Board adopted two resolutions to begin the process of restoring landscape maintenance services in these respective neighborhoods.
This summer, CSD staff will host a series of neighborhood outreach meetings throughout Benefit Zone 3. At each meeting, staff will share more about how landscape maintenance is funded, the status of funding in the area, and what residents can do to help improve their neighborhood parks, trails and streetscapes.
The dates are as follows:
Benefit Zone 3 - Elk Grove/West Vineyard benefits from having 11 parks totaling 59 acres. It has the third most parks and park acres in the CSD Park System.
The Elk Grove/West Vineyard Benefit Zone includes 8 local parks, 1 neighborhood park, and 2 community parks. In addition, there are 18 acres of streetscapes and trails.
The Elk Grove/West Vineyard Benefit Zone includes Rau Park and Jones Park, both with high-use assets for youth and adult sports. This Benefit Zone includes numerous playgrounds which require substantial funding for renewal.
Listed below are the 2018-2019 fiscal year projects staff anticipate completing. Projects are subject to change due to weather and/or unforeseen budgetary changes.
Note: The Elk Grove/West Vineyard Benefit Zone has $1.2 million of unfunded Park Maintenance Management Plan Projects identified, and three unbuilt park sites. Due to limited operational funding and lack of Capital Reserves in this Benefit Zone, only projects related to health and safety will be completed until funding is identified.
There are 10 parks in Benefit Zone 3, in addition to streetscapes and trails. Low assessment rates Opens a New Window. were established in these two benefit zones about 20 years ago and have not been increased since 1997, except for adjustments tied to the CPI (0.50–2.5 percent in past five years).
Today, there is a gap between maintenance costs and assessment revenues because water rates and service costs have increased faster than these CPI inflation adjustments.
Funding challenges in Benefit Zone 3 are not new. In 2009, property owners in both zones were given an opportunity to approve higher assessments to offset funding shortages for maintaining parks and other facilities. They overwhelming rejected the proposed assessment increase.
In November 2017, CSD conducted a survey among all property owners in Benefit Zone 3 to determine whether they would support an assessment increase. The survey results were well below the minimum threshold needed for approval. As a result, CSD decided to not proceed with a vote-by-mail procedure pursuant to Prop 218.
Because the revenue shortfalls for Benefit Zone 3 cannot be totally closed with reserve funds, CSD was forced to adopt a number of service level reductions, effective July 2018. These measures included reduction of staff hours, reduced landscape watering, less frequent mowing, and the elimination of fertilization and aeration of turf, weed control and shrub pruning. In addition, expansion of and construction of new parks within the Benefit Zone have been postponed because sufficient funding does not exist for ongoing maintenance.
If property owners do not approve their L&L assessment increases under Prop 218 to fund park maintenance activities, further reductions will need to be implemented and development of new parks will be indefinitely postponed, despite the fact that funds are available for park construction.