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Parks bond survey expected in January

The city is in the process of putting together a survey to gauge the public's interest in local parks and to determine if voters would support a possible bond measure in the spring.

In early December, the Sherwood Parks and Recreation Board met and pushed for a survey that could go to residents in early 2012.

During a Dec. 6 Sherwood City Council work session, Councilor Bill Butterfield, the council liaison for the Parks and Recreation Board, said the board is preparing a survey to determine voter support for a bond.

Potential survey questions could include determining the level of support for the Sherwood Family YMCA, along with park and ball field improvements and land acquisition.

'A lot of what Tigard did is they bought land,' Mayor Keith Mays said about a Tigard parks bond measure. 'Should we buy land?'

Although a $13.44 million bond amount had been discussed by the parks board, Kristen Switzer, the city's community services director, said she was not comfortable with that number and it will be reexamined.

The last parks survey was undertaken in 2008 when 300 randomly selected residents were reached via telephone.

At that time, parks officials discovered that 91 percent of residents were satisfied with parks.

However, only 45 percent said they would support a $6 million bond measure to improve parks, trails and the YMCA. Pollsters said a 55 percent to 60 percent support rate was needed to be successful.

Switzer said the parks board would like to complete the survey in January. If there is support, a bond request could go to voters in May.