Saturday, September 26, 2015

Troxclair donates office funds to local park

"Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;"
Proverbs 3:9

Press Release from Ellen Troxclair:
AUSTIN, TX – This week, Austin City Councilmember Ellen Troxclair allocated $30,000 from her personal office budget to the city’s Parks Department, specifically for improvements to Dick Nichols Park.

“Our city parks are such an important part of the identity of Austin, where we share time with our families, enjoy nature, and exercise. I have worked since my inauguration to not only be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars in our city wide spending, but also in running my own council office in order to accrue this savings. This money represents about 10% of my total office budget, and donating these unused dollars to the park is one way for me to provide a return on investment to my constituents.” Troxclair stated.

The money will be used to replace the decades old fitness stations at Dick Nichols Park, located in the heart of District 8. With roughly 152 acres, the park features a swimming pool, barbeque pits, basketball courts, picnic tables, playgrounds, tennis courts, and trails. Yet, years of wear and minimal repairs have left the park in need of attention. These funds from Councilmember Troxclair will be spent solely to improve the overall condition of the park trails, equipment, and amenities.

Rich DePalma, a South Austin resident and long-time public servant who co-founded local volunteer group Friends of Dick Nichols Park in 2007 and also serves as Vice-Chairman of the city's Parks and Recreation Board, responded to the news saying, “I am so excited about this project and am grateful to Councilmember Troxclair for making a personal sacrifice in her office budget in order to dedicate funds to our district parks. The broken 30 + year old trail fitness system at Dick Nichols Park has long been a thorn for the many Southwest Austin residents who routinely use the park. Replacing the system with a working, modern system will go a long way in helping all Southwest Austin residents stay fit and healthy while also providing a visible improvement to our well-loved district park.”

Councilmember Troxclair is also working on other ways to fund park improvements and maintenance. While individuals and organizations often pay to rent park facilities for events, some fees intended for maintenance are instead diverted to other uses in the general fund. She has advocated for addressing this issue and making sure that money for park use is spent on its intended purpose.

Troxclair concluded, “I am thrilled to be able to save money in order to make this contribution to the park, and I hope you will join me in enjoying this new trail fitness system for years to come.”

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