Denver’s voters handed the city tens of millions of dollars to spend on parks when they approved new sales taxes in November. On Monday, the Denver City Council laid out its spending plan for that new money.
The new taxes are expected to draw in roughly $41 million per year over the next six years. The budget for 2019 and 2020 focuses heavily on buying land and building out new projects, including:
$5 million for parkland in University Hills
$3 million to complete Sand Creek Regional Trail
$2.5 million to renovate maintenance headquarters
$2 million to replace Sloan’s Lake playground
$2 million to renovate irrigation of Fred Thomas Park
$1.75 million to improve tree canopy, mostly downtown
$1.75 million to supplement parks projects at Paco Sanchez, 29th and Fairfax, and Kentucky and Irving
$1.25 million on citywide and area-specific plans
$750,000 to reduce water usage, help pollinating insects and restore aquatic areas
$500,000 to design the next Ruby Hill phase, potentially including an “outdoor recreation complex”
The plans also include tens of millions more for land purchases, maintenance, salaries, equipment and more. The tax increased Denver’s parks budget by nearly 40%.
In the future, the money could pay for “signature” projects, including renovations and projects at Civic Center, Commons and Skyline parks; the “5280” loop around downtown; and improvements on regional trails.