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Bare-Bones Budget Leaves Parks Commission With Little Power To Tackle To-Do List

Derek Curry
Flickr via Wikipedia
Upper Bidwell Park

The to-do list is getting longer.

Facing another year with a skeleton crew and a budget more bones than meat, parks officials in Chico are again downplaying expectations.

The two-year work plan that was up for consideration by the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission Monday night leaves more items on the back burner than officials realistically expect to accomplish.

Chico’s parks have half the staffing they did seven years ago. The same workers are responsible for street trees. That means repairs take longer and maintenance is spottier. It also means more delays for new projects.

One commissioner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said budget cuts have left the commission with little power or purpose, making meetings into mainly a waste of time.

City officials are calling on the committee to produce a planning document covering all trails in Chico and update its natural resource management plan. Other priorities include updating a list species of trees appropriate for planting along city streets and reviewing the process and cost of reserving park facilities.

A total of 15 items ranging from a review of the Bidwell Bowl amphitheater, an inventory of park infrastructure and a feasibility study and analysis of Upper Park Road were punted to a secondary list that most likely won’t see movement until at least 2017.