Missouri City lacks funding for future parks and recreation projects

Missouri City staff reported Thursday the city’s parks and recreation department will no longer have funds available for capital improvement projects after fiscal year 2018, which ends June 30.

“This is the last year where there’s any capital funds available to parks and recreation,” said Jason Mangum, the city’s parks and recreation director. “After this year we will not have any money available for park projects."

Mangum was referring to funds from the $17.5 million and $75 million bond packages voters passed in 2008 and 2003, respectively, city spokesperson Cory Stottlemyer said. Any remaining funds from previous bond elections will be spent this fiscal year. In total, approximately $33.05 million was earmarked for the city's parks and recreation department.

The department has $340,000 allocated for capital improvement projects for fiscal year 2018, Mangum said. The city is currently working on replacing some parks equipment, improving playgrounds and pathways, and designing a community skate park.

Mangum said other high priority needs outlined in the city’s parks master plan includes an indoor gym at the tennis and recreation center, upgrades to the Sta-Mo Sports Complex, nature park facilities, and additional trails.

“We’re constantly looking for alternative funding,” Mangum said. “There’s often grants through the state or National Parks and Recreation [Association]. We’ve just applied for three fitness grants, focusing on seniors.”

These fitness grants would be used to promote and enhance health and wellness programs, he said.

“We do need to really figure out how we’re going to get additional money,” Mangum said. “We’re hoping that our elected officials will be able to designate new bond program for parks.”
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.