For the first time since before the Erie County fiscal collapse of the Red/Green Budget, the county is scheduling another master plan for the county's 38 pieces of parkland.
The park system is slowly crawling back from years of fiscal neglect, a rebuilt shelter here and trees there. At the same time, there are a lot of projects for which there is not enough money.
Thursday, county legislators approved a $500,000 contract with Wendel Companies to prepare a new master plan. Legislature Chair John Mills said parks are getting squeezed in a money crunch, even with the master plan.
"We've got to leave it as passive parks. We may have to turn some of the active parks into semi-passive parks, if we don't have the funding," he said. "That's the reason for the plan, to have another set of eyes, consultant, look at it and evaluate it. We're not going to have the money to restore the parks to where they used to be."
The county has some passive parks with no plans for further development. With the county currently preparing its capital budget plan for next year, new and renovated park areas are falling below things like maintenance equipment needed to keep up the current parks.