Gerry Broderick
Press Release

Supervisors Put Forth Plan to Invest $10 Million in Parks and Cultural Assets

Sup. Broderick and Chairwoman Dimitrijevic Announce Amendment to Fund Parks Deferred Maintenance, Reverse Cuts to Cultural Institutions

By - Oct 27th, 2014 01:13 pm
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Photo from Facebook.

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Photo from Facebook.

Supervisor Gerry Broderick and Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic announced an amendment to the $1.3 billion Milwaukee County 2015 Proposed Budget that that begins to address the County’s major backlog in maintenance to our parks and cultural assets. The County Board’s Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee approved the amendment.

The amendment restores the County Executive’s proposed five percent cut to the operating budgets of the Charles Allis Museum, Villa Terrace, and the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the County Fund for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

In addition, the amendment authorizes $10 million in new capital funding to address deferred maintenance in our parks, with a focus on highly used public areas. The first $1 million will fund critical projects at the Charles Allis and the Marcus Center for Performing Arts.

“Our cultural assets are far too valuable for us to ignore through budgetary neglect,” Broderick said. “Our parks are the jewels of our community, and we cannot allow continued deterioration through deferred maintenance. This is a significant first step in addressing those needs.”

Dimitrijevic said parks and cultural assets are part of the quality of life in Milwaukee County and should be protected from the ravaging effects of continued deferred maintenance.

The Public Policy Forum estimates “county-owned parks and cultural institutions need about $246 million to fund deferred maintenance over the next five years.” In a recent report, the Forum also adds the County Executive’s Proposed 2015 Budget, “does not appear to make a meaningful dent in the comprehensive capital needs of the parks and cultural institutions…this challenge will continue to grow and eventually should be addressed in a meaningful way.”

“Interest rates are incredibly low while public demand for investing in our parks is extremely high,” Dimitrijevic said. “We have all heard the talk for years about the downward spiral we are heading into and now is the time for action. The journey of reversing course and investing in our infrastructure will be long, but for the sake of future generations we must begin today.”

The amendment will be included in the budget package that will be voted on by the County Board on November 10.

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