Benefit Zone 3 - Elk Grove/West Vineyard
Funding Challenges within Benefit Zone 3
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, Cosumnes 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, Cosumnes CSD decided to not proceed with a vote-by-mail procedure pursuant to Prop 218.
Service Level Reductions
The following reductions have been incorporated in order to minimize the amount of Capital Reserves being used for routine maintenance.
- Reduced irrigation water at parks.
- Reduced contracted landscape services at parks, including:
- Reduced mowing by 50% at non-sports field parks
- Eliminated fertilization and aeration of turf
- Eliminated weed control in turf and planters
- Eliminated shrub pruning
Many of the expenses associated with Benefit Zone 3 are hard costs, or safety-related, and cannot be reduced. The reduction of the above items will save Benefit Zone 3 approximately $48,000, reducing the gap between expenditures and revenues. Capital Reserves are being used again in FY 2020-2021 to cover the cost of essential maintenance.
Benefit Zone Information
Benefit Zone 3 - Elk Grove/West Vineyard benefits from having 10 parks totaling 33 acres. It has the third most parks and park acres in the Cosumnes CSD Park System. Elk Grove/West Vineyard includes eight local parks, one neighborhood park, and one community park. There are 18 acres of streetscapes and trails.
This Benefit Zone has three areas which receive additional funding through overlay assessments:
- Camden Estates & Camden Pointe (MacDonald Park)
- Perry Ranch (Perry Park)
- Vista Creek (Jordan Family Park)
Because these three areas have additional funding, they are not subject to service reductions.
Listed below are the 2020-2021 fiscal year projects staff anticipate completing. Projects are subject to change due to weather and/or unforeseen budgetary changes.
- Playground Engineered Wood Fiber will be added to parks where needed to maintain a safe depth.
- The poured in place (PIP) playground surfaces at Amundson and Karamanos Parks will be resealed.
- Landscape renovations to replace missing or poor performing plants at Waterman Road and Brown Road in the Perry Ranch Improvement District.
- Landscape renovations to replace missing or poor performing plants at Sheldon Creek Drive and Spring Azure Way in the Camden Estates & Camden Pointe Improvement District.
Note: The Elk Grove West Vineyard Benefit Zone has $5,595,000 of unfunded Park Maintenance Management Plan Projects identified, including two unbuilt park sites. Due to limited operational funding and lack of Capital Reserves in this Benefit Zone, only projects related to health will be completed until additional funding is identified. This does not apply to the three overlay assessments identified above.
- Why have service levels and maintenance at the parks in the Elk Grove West / Vineyard Park area been reduced?
- How will the service level cutbacks affect the maintenance of parks in Benefit Zone 3?
- Which parks are impacted?
- How are park maintenance costs funded?
- What do you spend the assessment you do collect on?
- What caused the funding shortfall for park maintenance in Benefit Zone 3?
- Why does it appear that Jordan Family Park is still being maintained at a higher level if the benefit zone has no funding?
- What are potential solutions to closing this funding gap and restoring service levels?
- What can I do as a property owner to help?