Maintenance Backlog Survey

Dear WRPA,

We have a great opportunity to work with the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) on a request that could provide new funding to local parks and recreation agencies to address their maintenance backlogs – but we’ll need your help to make it happen.

Let me first give you some background and then describe the assistance we need from you to make our WRPA request a productive one.

WRPA’s work with RCO on the issue of M&O needs gained steam after the Legislature approved funding in the 2022 Operating Budget that provides Washington State Parks, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) with $5 million apiece to reduce their maintenance backlogs. Just as importantly, the Legislature assumed that there will be another $15 million in its 2023-25 Operating Budget to continue this initiative.

That led us to ask RCO if it would be possible for them (the one agency in state government that consistently passes state grant funds down to the local level) to work with WRPA on a 2023-25 Operating Budget request to provide a similar level of funding ($3 - $5 million) for local parks M&O throughout the state.  The good news is that RCO is receptive to doing just that.  But for RCO to credibly put together what is called an “Agency Decision Package” making such a request of the Governor’s Office, it is going to need reliable and documented information about the extent of the local parks M&O needs around the state.

This is where you come in!  We have put together a survey Maintenance Backlog Survey that asks local park agency leaders to provide information on their deferred maintenance and to “roll up” a total of the need – either with a specific dollar amount or, if that’s not possible, with a range of need. (Please see this PDF for screenshots of the questions if you are unsure of what to expect).

This survey will be distributed later this week, will be posted on the WRPA website, and hopefully will be noted by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) in their informational materials and bulletins.

We hope to return survey results to RCO in early June, showing what the total deferred maintenance needs are for local park agencies. The more local agencies we hear from, the more credible our survey results and our numbers!

Please help us out this next couple of weeks by filling out this survey for YOUR agency and by urging the other parks departments in your region of the need for them to fill it out for THEIR agency.  The survey is designed to take just a few minutes to fill out.  Our goal is to have folks complete the survey by June 3rd.

If you can help with this important project, and put WRPA on the path toward working with RCO for new funding for local parks agencies, we would VERY much appreciate it.

Dave Johnson
WRPA President

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