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Flood Park costs could hit $595,000 a year

Original post made on Nov 16, 2011

When San Mateo County asked Menlo Park to take over Flood Park in hopes of saving the park from closure, the city decided to do its homework before saying yes. Now it looks like running the 21-acre park on Bay Road could cost the city $595,000 a year. The city's parks commission will examine the matter Wednesday night, Nov. 16.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 10:50 PM

Comments (4)

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Posted by friend of flood park
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This article is misleading as to the capital costs. The $20 million price tag refers to a whole host of capital costs which may or may not be done, including renovation of the baseball fields, tennis courts, and repair and rebuilding of structures which may or may not be required. Many of these improvements could be made (if warranted) through private-public partnerships. I have heard of numerous organizations that would be interested in investing with the city on improved sports facilities in Menlo Park.

A full renovation of the parking lot - including brand new drainage system to prevent further decay - will not cost $20 million, rather it is $2 million. BUT this is not even required for many years, as the SFPUC has agreed to repave the entire the parking lot (which their pipeline runs beneath) once their project is complete.

The operating costs reported here are accurate as to the report, but the estimations in the report are at the high end in every case. For example, the report calls for Rangers to enforce the parking permits issued by the parking kiosk. Why would Menlo Park not use its existing parking enforcement (meter maids) to handle this? The report also calls for hiring a new city employee to manage the party permits for Flood Park (over 500 per year.) Why not automate this system? Do we really need to throw more headcount at this activities, headcount that comes with health care coverage and pension obligations?

The article states "The report attributes the higher costs in part to a projected increase in park use..." Very true. But where are the increased projected revenues from this park use calculated? Parking fees, permit fees, revenue from sports teams using the facilities? It is not a complete picture to report on costs without considering the increased revenues which will offset those costs with greater park use.

Do we need more parkland in Menlo Park? Yes, we do. Even with the new turf fields at Kelly Park and soon Hillview Middle School, our kids teams and leagues do not have nearly the park space and field options of neighboring communities like Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos. And we are the only one that actually has "Park" in our city name. Go figure.

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Posted by A voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

So, Menlo Park, do we have the money for this? If not, what programs/staff are we all willing to cut to pay for it. Even if we do none of the improvements, can we afford to maintain it at close to $600,000 a year? Or, are we willing to tax ourselves to pay for it?

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Posted by Jose
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

It's a white elephant. Jut the type f money sinkhole Menlo Park staff likes.

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Posted by Menlo Mom
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Talk of cutting programs is being used as a red herring. If the city staff and city council are willing to take some time to figure out how to accept the gift of 21 acres of Menlo Park real estate in a fiscally responsible way, they can do it.

Public/private partnerships for example. Parties have stepped up to say that they would do the field renovations and management. There are definitely ways to do this that would not make other programs suffer. The city just needs to be willing to help figure it out.

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