By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Santa Rosa’s parks and recreation department is still trying to raise money to keep its pools and senior center open this year.
Despite approval in November of a $6 million revenue measure to fund city services, $92,000 in private donations toward the effort, and a proposal to charge for parking at Howarth Park, the city is still trying to raise $50,000 this year to keep its pools and senior programs afloat.
In a repeat of a successful fund-raiser last year, the city has partnered with the Santa Rosa Marathon to host a 5k run/walk to benefit the city’s Aquatic Trust Fund, which supports operations at the Ridgway and Finley pools.
Last year, the event helped call attention to the city budget crisis, and wealthy businessmen including Henry Trione and winery owner Francis Ford Coppola made generous donations to the cause.
This year’s event takes place Aug. 29 in Juilliard Park. Funds from entry fees, pledges, T-shirt sales and the accompanying festival will help benefit the fund. The cost is $30 for those over 16, $15 for those under.
The $50,000 goal was set at budget time as a way to encourage the community to continue supporting the popular programs without raising fees, which reduces usage, according to Kelley Magnuson, outreach coordinator for the city’s parks and recreation department.
It is not clear that the pools or senior center would actually close if the funds are not raised.
Other fund-raisers later in the year will be dedicated to assist programs at the Bennett Valley Senior Center, Magnuson said.