Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on March 17th, 2010 at 11:14 am
[Hat tip to the Willamette Week]
The City’s Financial Planning Division is recommending that the Bureau of Transportation scale back their planned five Sunday Parkways to just three, the same number held last year.
According to the City’s budget office, the five events planned this year will cost a total of $475,000. PBOT put in a budget request in hopes that $217,000 of that amount could be paid through the City’s General Fund.
Here’s the excerpt from FPD’s analysis of that request:
“While Sunday Parkways is a popular event and great public relations for the City, FPD cannot support funding for this program when basic services are being cut. FPD recommends maintaining the current program level (three events instead of five) rather than expanding beyond current funding availability.”
If PBOT accepts FPDs recommendation, the total cost for three Sunday Parkways would be $285,000, of which all but $27,000 is already accounted for. To fill that gap, FPD says, “The bureau is encouraged to work toward additional sponsorships/donations and to evaluate the program’s marketing and outreach costs for efficiencies in order to cover the difference.”
Since the event’s huge success in 2008, PBOT has struggled to pay for the event from traditional sources. They’ve put out calls for individual donations they’ve scoured grant sources (like the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit) and institutional donors (like Kaiser Permanente).
This year is the first time they’ve requested funding from the General Fund. In January, PBOT spokesperson Cheryl Kuck said they feel Sunday Parkways is an “excellent candidate” for General Fund support because the program, “provides and enhances neighborhood livability, economic vitality, and neighborhood connectivity.”
FPD has also decided to not recommend using any City resources to fund traffic control and other expenses involved with the carfree Last Thursday on Alberta event. Instead, they encourage “neighborhood gallery owners and other stakeholders” to establish a non-profit to “solicit contributions and start charging vendor set up fees to pay for all necessary traffic and safety controls.”
Reached today, PBOT spokesperson Dan Anderson said, “PBOT is following the budget process closely and raising private money and planning for five Sunday Parkways — as directed by the Mayor’s office.”
The Mayor has final say on the budget, but he isn’t expected to release his budget until June. Learn more about the City of Portland’s budget process here.