Action Line: CBJ Parks and Recreation Department to update master plan this year

    Department Director Kirk Duncan spoke about the process and its projected timeline while a guest on Action Line Monday.

    The CBJ Parks and Recreation Department is poised to update its master plan later this year.

    That was one topic of discussion on Action Line Monday.

    Department Director Kirk Duncan stated that the process is difficult to accomplish through the summer.

    "It's difficult to do anything in this town as far as the public goes over the summer, so we're going to kick off our master planning process just after Labor Day," Duncan explained. "It'll be a series of public meetings and surveys.  It's half education and half listening to the public, so we want to tell people what we're doing, how much it costs, and get some direction on where the residents of Juneau would like to see the department spend its resources over the next ten years; it's somewhat difficult to make decisions today if you don't know where you want to be in ten years."

    Duncan also detailed a rough timeline for the process.

    "We'll have the public process over the fall and early winter, and then we'll release a preliminary plan in spring of 2017. We'll let people comment on that, and then Labor Day of 2017, we'll come up with a draft preliminary plan which we'll present to the public, make refinements, and present it to the Assembly and Planning Commission in the spring of 2018. It's really an 18 month process; we could do it quicker if we wanted to, but we really want the public to be able to think about it and weigh in on it. We're not in any rush since the last time we updated our master plan was 20 years ago, so we want to make sure we do it well."

    Given the shortfall now facing the CBJ Treasury, Duncan says public input becomes even more important.

    "In times of stretched resources, what do the residents prioritize more than something else? If we're going to spend money, we want to make sure we spend money as the residents would like to see it spent."

    The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will be briefed on the master plan process at its meeting next week.

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