July 30, 2021
Enhancements on Park Maintenance
DEFINITION: To move forward, advance or develop toward a better, more complete or more modern state.
St. Joseph residents like to play outside. And inside. All year long.
Few cities the size of St. Joseph can boast an interconnecting set of 26-mile concrete pedestrian paths, or the landmark architecture that adds such a big sense of local “story” to so many outdoor spaces. From ice hockey to wooden-bat league baseball, to full-scale concert spaces, NFL training facilities, a state-of-the-art nature center and tucked away mountain biking trails, St. Joseph continues to open the door on adventure and fun.
Soon guests and residents could enjoy even more, both inside and outside, as a 1/2 cent sales tax increase hits the ballot, with revenues dedicated to renovation and enhancements of the city’s parks system. If approved, the tax increase would generate an additional $5 to 6 million dollars per year and could be shared across dozens of projects.
The tax proposal includes a ten-year sunset and can make a significant impact on an already “uncommon” parks and recreation system over the decade. Enhancements to the Civic Arena as a venue for large-scale sporting events could be a goal well within reach. From a sports perspective, the city is already well-known as home of the Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp, hosting guests and residents in a laid-back and convenient location. Midwestern and even national softball and basketball events have also been welcomed in by St. Joseph parks’ facilities. Some of the funds from the tax incentive could boost further sports tourism.
Like many plans on the near horizon, the tax proposal also lines up well with the Imagine 2040 goal of making St. Joseph a better place to live. Survey respondents on the Imagine 2040 project said maintenance of city parks and swimming pools were a high priority. Respondents also want to see improvements to the Parkway System and Riverfront areas to bring in more tourists.
Changing the recreation “game” in St. Joseph (pun fully intended) means a lot to a parks system that already turns heads nationally, while providing the spaces families need for the simple everyday joys, too.
The drive throughout downtown has become more colorful in the last five years, thanks to the creation of larger than life murals that convey the unique spirit of St. Joseph.
In addition to its paved walking paths, the Parkway features miles of rugged biking and hiking trails and serves as a red carpet to some of St. Joseph’s most interesting places.
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