MKE County: Crowley Touts New Era for Parks Spending

From the Article:

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley signed legislation Wednesday providing $500,000 for park projects and workforce spending.

The funding, although just a small piece of the overall Milwaukee County Parks budget for 2024, was made possible by the new 0.4% countywide sales tax that went into effect in January.

The new sales tax came thanks to a lobbying effort by the city and county for legislative authority from the state to generate additional revenue and reform the pension systems that were dragging on the budgets of both governments. The additional revenue provided the county with the first budget surplus in decades.

“And what that means is that rather than determining what cuts will be least harmful to this community, it gave us an opportunity to look at what investments can we actually make to deploy the most beneficial investments for all of our residents within Milwaukee County,” County Executive Crowley said during the signing event at Tiefenthaler Park.

The Milwaukee County Board earmarked the funding in the 2024 budget and asked Milwaukee County Parks to return to them with a plan to spend the money. Parks developed a list of ideas it’s calling “high-impact” projects, which the department can implement quickly and be recognized by county residents this year.

Tiefenthaler Park in Midtown received one of the larger allocations in the package: $100,000. Parks will use the funding to turn a wading pool into a splash pad and upgrade lighting and pathways throughout the park. The upgrades are intended to enhance the upgrades already made at the park by the Kellogg Peak Initiative, which essentially turned a park pavilion into a community center.

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