SALEM Parks committee to discuss placement of renewal levy

The cost of installing cameras in parks appears to be too expensive, a city councilman says.
SALEM -- The city council parks committee will discuss putting a levy renewal on the May 7 primary ballot.
The renewal, if voters approve it, would ensure continued revenue from a 1-mill, five-year levy that brings in about $150,000 annually, Steve Faber, city parks director, said Friday.
The levy expired last year, but collections on it continue until the end of this year.
Revenue: It's one of two levies the park system relies on to cover its nearly $375,000 annual budget. The city's general fund also pays for the parks.
The other levy is for 0.5 mill and five years. It brings in about $50,000 annually and expires at the end of 2003.
Putting the levy on the ballot will be considered at the parks committee's next meeting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in city council chambers, Councilman Walt Bezeredi, parks committee chairman, said Friday.
Concessions: In other park matters, Bezeredi, D-4th, said he is proposing that the Centennial Park concession stand be opened again during the summer months.
The stand has not been used for more than a decade, Faber said, except to house vending machines.
One option would be for the parks to lease the stand to a vendor during the summer to sell pop, ice cream, candy and similar items, Faber added.
Surveillance: A proposal to install surveillance cameras in the city's two largest parks, Centennial and Waterworth, may be too expensive to implement, Bezeredi said.
Councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, D-1st, proposed in December that parks officials consider cameras to deter vandals.
But it would cost about $50,000, which may be too much to spend, Bezeredi said.

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