You are here

Parks Maintenance Fee

Residents' utility bills include a park maintenance fee approved by the City Council in July 2007. This monthly residential park maintenance fee is currently $10.70 per month per household. Here are some commonly-asked questions and answers about this fee:

Question:
Can the City charge these fees without a vote of City residents?

Answer:
Yes. The City Council is authorized under State law, the City Charter, and Municipal Code to establish fees and charges for services provided by the City.

Question:
Why charge fees for park maintenance?

Answer:
Deferring maintenance on parks can cost more in the long run. Providing timely maintenance to the City’s park assets protects the City's investment in parks, and makes it possible for these assets to be used by residents. Plus, routine maintenance is important if we want to keep using our parks and ensure that lawns are mowed, paths are maintained, restrooms are cleaned, and playing fields are accessible, among other tasks.

Question:
Why not use property tax money to pay for the parks?

Answer:
West Linn has the lowest City property tax rate in the region, and the City Council decided to dedicate those funds to police, the West Linn library, and some parks activities. However, property tax revenues just aren’t sufficient to cover all costs related to parks maintenance.

Question:
I never use the parks. Why do I have to pay?

Answer:
The City’s park network is an important component of West Linn’s livability – even if you don’t use them. Our parks, open space and green areas make this a great place to live. Additional revenues are required to maintain our parks.

Question:
What types of things does this fee pay for?

Answer:
Parks maintenance fee revenues are directed solely toward parks maintenance – you get what you pay for with this user fee. Parks maintenance staff have daily responsibilities to keep our parks in top condition; tasks include mowing, cleaning, seeding, reservation services, irrigation, inspections, replacement and other general maintenance services at all parks in all West Linn neighborhoods.

In addition, a portion of the fee revenue will be used to pay debt service on bonded debt used to replace the restrooms and wading pools at Hammerle and Willamette Parks. The new restrooms and wading pools will be very similar to the facilities at Tanner Creek Park.