ROCK COUNTY PARKS (LWV-BELOIT & LWV-JANESVILLE)
MARCH 2002; REVISED MAY 2014
The Beloit and Janesville Leagues of Women Voters support an updated five-year Rock County "Parks and Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan".
The plan should contain a clear vision and mission for parks, outdoor recreation, and open spaces in Rock County.
The plan should include site development plans with an inventory of parks, clearly saying how county park improvement priorities are set and how the priorities are monitored.
The plan should be "user-friendly", i.e. written at a general-public reading level.
The plan should provide mechanisms which intentionally seek public participation at every step of setting and monitoring park priorities.
The plan should meet national and state standards for quantity and quality.
The plan should identify sources of funding for implementation.
The plan's provisions should be achievable.
The LWV endorses the use of outside consultants, when funds can be secured, to plan for park improvements in order to ease the county staff workload and to benefit from the expertise that consultants could provide.
The Beloit and Janesville Leagues of Women Voters recommend that the "Parks and Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan" be fully implemented.
The LWV recommends use of the following options to implement the plan:
Provide funding through general tax revenues as well as governmental and private grants;
Utilize the Rock County Green Fund and other volunteer funding support;
Consider user fees while allowing accessibility to the public;
Acquire additional land for parks or open spaces through purchase, abandonment, donation, dedication or designation or land given `in lieu of';
Seek and maintain partnerships with special interest user groups.
The Beloit and Janesville Leagues of Women Voters recommend that the county administrator and supervisors address more effective ways to oversee the administration of Rock County's parks.
Note: The LWV finds the present county organizational structure "Parks and Outdoor Recreation and Open Space Plan" planning process less than ideal and confusing when the roles of the Planning and Development Committee and the Public Works Department/Parks Division are unclear.
The LWV recommends the continuation of the an additional staff person position, serving under the parks director, to coordinate volunteer efforts in planning, developing, maintaining, promoting, and funding our county parks, recreational facilities, and open spaces.