Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Local Park Funding
Federal Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act Grants
April 2000

I. Discussion: The Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) program was established in November 1978 by Public Law 95-625, authorizing grants to provide matching grants and technical assistance to economically distressed urban communities. The purpose of the program is to provide direct federal assistance to urban localities for rehabilitation of critically needed recreation facilities. The law also encourages systematic local planning and commitment to continuing operation and maintenance of recreation programs, sites, and facilities. Only cities and urban counties meeting established criteria are eligible for assistance.

The U.S. Congress has recently appropriated $2 million for fiscal year 2000 to be granted to local governments throughout the United States from the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR). Under this program grants will be awarded to local governments for projects which contribute to a systems approach to recreation by linking recreation services with other critical community programs such as housing, transportation, health and public safety, water quality, energy conservation, crime prevention, etc. Local governments in Texas are collectively eligible for up to $300,000 this year.

The program will be administered as follows: Grants to local governments are matching grants with the federal match share being no less than 70% of a project. There is also incentive for the states to participate in the match cost. When states do participate financially, the remaining match can be shared by the states up to 15% of the project cost. The state contribution will then be matched by the federal government on a dollar for dollar basis, thus lessening the local governments’ required financial commitment.

In the past the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has chosen to make a commitment to match approved UPARR projects up to 10%, resulting in an increase of the federal share for projects from 70% to 80%, and lessening the local commitment from 30% to 10%. Only a 10% commitment of state funds was made to ensure that the local governments would be required to make at least a small investment of local funds. A 10% Department commitment would be $30,000 and any of the funds committed by the Department which were not used by grant recipients would revert back to the Department.

The staff feels that TPW participation is a worthwhile investment in helping eligible cities fulfill their need. Such participation is authorized by law in Texas Parks and Wildlife Code Chapter 24.004, which would expend funds from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"Funding in the amount of $30,000 from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account is reserved to be used to match 10% of the cost of UPARR projects approved by the National Park Service in fiscal year 2000 for Texas local governments."

Attachment – 1

1. Exhibit A – Fiscal Note (Available Upon Request)

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