Coalition calls for increased Austin park spending

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 27 at 5:40 PM

AUSTIN -- The Great Austin Parks coalition rallied on the steps of Austin City Hall Tuesday asking the city council to allocate an additional $4.75 million in parks spending.

The group wants the City to spend $1.5 million on trees, $1.25 million on trails, $1 million on pools and $1 million on maintenance.

"We aren't asking for upgrades. We are asking for basic maintenance funding," said Colin Wallis with the Austin Parks Foundation.

"Our parks can't wait any longer," said Richard Craig with Pease Park Conservancy.

The coalition says 65 parking lots need repairs, 37 tennis courts need resurfacing and half of all playground equipment needs to be replaced.

The coalition says more maintance money is needed after a tree fell and injured a jogger Saturday on the hike and bike trail.

"In regards to that tragic event, park maintenance equals public safety. It's not just about taking care of what we have now, it's truly about taking care of who we are," said Rodney Ahart with the group Keep Austin Beautiful.

The coalition of park advocates will lobby Austin City Council Thursday afternoon during a budget meeting at City Hall.

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