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Sacramento Has Multi-Million-Dollar Backlog Of Park Repairs

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new survey shows Sacramento city parks need millions of dollars in repairs.

Tennis courts with no nets, overgrown weeds, and full-length cracks are just some of the repairs needed in Sacramento city parks.

"Things do age and deteriorate and do need to be replaced," said Mario Lara, the director of Sacramento City Youth, Parks and Community Development Enrichment Department.

Lara says Sacramento has a multi-million-dollar backlog of park maintenance.

"This has accumulated over time," he said. "A big example is we have several pools within our system and we have to resurface the pools."

Other projects include fixing playgrounds and replacing outdated bathrooms – like those in Land Park that don't have doors on the toilet stalls – with modern gender-neutral single-stall facilities.

So just how much money is needed to fix Sacramento's public parks?

In 2020, there was $128 million in repairs left unfunded. In 2021, the city allocated $5 million toward deferred maintenance projects, now leaving a total of $123 million.

But at this rate, it could take more than 24 years to fix everything on the list, and that's not counting any new repair projects.

"We don't want our systems to start failing on us," Lara said. "We do need to address the deferred maintenance budget and start bringing that down as much as we can."

Many families said the city should focus more on maintaining parks.

"I think it's important for them to be in repair because it's where we take our kids," parent Lindsay Myers-Humlie said.

"Because it has to do with our kids, I think it's very important," parent Domingo Afoa said.

Lara said it ultimately comes down to the city's budget priorities.

"It's going to be a constant effort to try and identify additional resources to address the issue," he said.

The city said it actively seeks out grants to help fund maintenance projects. Some repairs were covered by money set aside for in-person recreational programs that were canceled during the pandemic.

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