If all goes according to plan, the Maxwell Park and Recreations District will soon actually have a park to manage, thanks to the Maxwell Volunteer Firefighters Association.
The news was announced at last week’s meeting of the Maxwell Park and Recreations Board of Directors. Board President Randy Wilkins said that the Volunteer Firefighters Association was in the process of purchasing the empty lot next to the Maxwell Fire Department, and intends to build a community park there.
The lot is divided into three parcels, one of which has already been purchased. Wilkins said they were in the process of finalizing the purchase of the second parcel, and in discussions for the purchase of the third.
“They’re looking for support from both (the non-profit) Maxwell Beautification Committee and the Maxwell Park and Recreations District,” Wilkins said. “I think it would be good for this town to actually have a park.”
The park will have to come to fruition through a partnership of numerous entities in Maxwell, including the Volunteer Firefighters Association, which will own, maintain and pay the taxes on the property; the Maxwell Beautification Committee, a non-profit entity that will help with the installation of the amenities at the park; and the Park and Recreations District, which will manage the park.
“Everybody is going to have to have a hand in it,” Wilkins said. “It’s going to have to be a big joint venture.”
Wilkins said that there would be a couple things that need to take place moving forward, and that the three groups would be working together to get the project up and running.
“(The Maxwell Volunteer Firefighters Association is looking for both) physical (and) financial (support),” Wilkins said. “There’s some legalities we have to work out with them, but… Maxwell Park and Recreations would actually have a park.”
While fellow board member Chelsea Dirks said that she knew a lot of moms in Maxwell that “would really love a park,” Wilkins noted that, as currently envisioned, there would be no playground equipment there due to the liabilities associated with it.
“It’s just in the planning stages, but they’re keeping it simple,” Wilkins said. “I believe one to two pathways, benches and a gazebo… Get some concrete, get the sidewalks fixed, get some nice grass planted – it’d be a good start. Maybe get some barbecues, too.”
For their part, the Maxwell Beautification Committee is currently working on fundraising ideas and looking into applying for grants to help build the park.
District eying assessment increase for November ballot
While they don’t own any facilities themselves, the Maxwell Park and Recreations District reopened the town’s pool in 2016 after it had been closed for nearly a decade. They also run a recreation program for various youth sports, and have been working to expand the programs they offer in recent years. Unfortunately, they don’t have much to work with in the way of finances: the current annual assessment levy was passed by the district’s voters in the 1986-87 fiscal year. The assessment was $15 per residence, and $0.07 per acre with a $3 minimum assessment. Since then, there have been no adjustments to it.. That could be changing come November.
Colusa County Supervisor Gary Evans was on hand at last week’s meeting to give the Park and Recreations District board a rundown on the Proposition 218 process, which is required to raise the assessment for district residents. The board discussed their potential options for an assessment increase with Evans, and indicated they would like to get a local measure on the ballot this year. Board members said that they would be looking into the matter further in the near future.■