Duluth parks funding referendum proposed by mayor

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson is concerned about the amount of funding for park maintenance being insufficient and is proposing a referendum for residents to eventually vote on come November.

In 2011 the standard was set with 2.6 million dollars in property taxes allotted for parks funding, however now with rising costs the Mayor is wondering if the public is ready to increase that amount.

She says, "So we know that costs in all areas have gone up over the last 11 years. And so we think that the case is there for this adjustment.”

With 30% of Duluth being parkland, the city is finding it harder to keep the parks fully maintained. Larson says that with the current amount the city is struggling with facility stabilization and rehabilitation.

She says, "people use these buildings, we want them to be safe. We want them to be utilized. We also can use it for garbage collection and different things that the community has let us know they want to see more of."

She also adds, "This is our public responsibility to protect and take care of.”

Some opposed to the idea say they would rather see the money come out of the tourism fund rather than additional taxes being placed on families. However both sides still hope to see improvements come to the parks.