Failed assessment puts Bear River park district in peril |

Failed assessment puts Bear River park district in peril

A vote to raise $169,000 yearly for south county park and recreation improvements has failed, forcing the general manager of the Bear River Recreation and Parks district to resign.

With just under 40 percent of 9,995 property owners responding to the measure, 50.2 percent of them rejected the assessment that would have paid for recreational improvements at local schools and provided for the development of 32 acres near Lime Kiln Road and Highway 49.

The measure needed a simple majority plus one, but the votes were weighted on the value of property.

The district, founded in 1995, is comprised of 109 square miles and affects 22,000 residents in Alta Sierra, Lake of the Pines and other unincorporated areas south of Grass Valley to the Placer County line.

With very limited funds on hand, the district’s part-time general manager, Jeff Potter, said there’s not enough money to continue in his role as district director.

“For family and personal reasons, I can’t continue to work part-time,” he said in a statement. “I was looking forward to a full-time job and the funds to expand our popular year-round recreation programs and move forward on new projects.”

In addition to the 32-acre Kimler Ranch, the district also owns a six-mile trail easement along the Emigrant Trail from Highway 49 to Dog Bar Road. The district also shares a joint-use agreement with the Pleasant Ridge Union School District to use the Magnolia Sports Complex.

The assessment would have provided for more sports fields and a skate park at the complex, Guerland said.

In informal surveys, there was strong support for the assessment, said board chairman Tony Clarabut. Unfortunately, Clarabut said, 40 percent of property owners who responded positively to the survey did not cast ballots.

Votes for the assessment were given different weighted values, depending on the type of property in the district, Guerland said. Thus, a vote for by owners of vacant land carried less weight than a vote by owners of land with houses or commercial establishments, she said. Votes from those inside Lake of the Pines were given less weight than those outside the gates, because voters inside the members-only community already have access to recreational facilities.

A meeting to discuss the future goals of the recreation and park district is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Pleasant Ridge Union School District Office, 22580 Kingston Lane.

Results of Bear River Park and Recreation assessment vote:

Parcel votes for assessment vote to raise $169.069 for parks and recreation facilities

Total votes: 3,901

Yes: 1,991 (51 percent)

No: 1,910 (49 percent)

Weighted assessment votes

Total value of weighted votes for proposed $169,000 assessment for district:

$67,742 ( representing 40 percent of voters in district)

Of those 40 percent, 49.5 percent (representing $33,510 of total proposed assessment value) voted for the assessment, and $34,232 of total proposed assessment value, or 50.5 percent, voted against the assessment.

Source: Bear River Park and Recreation District

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