Texas and Colorado budgets suggest simply opting out of roadside and park maintenance

In two unrelated but symbolically connected news stories, governing bodies appear to be offering the public unpopular choices in order to meet budgetary constraints.

In Colorado, volunteers are being asked to assume the jobs of laid-off workers, and promoters of the concept think the idea will prove popular in other communities. Alternatively, if volunteers do not meet community needs, it is expected that citizens would then understand the need to raise taxes. The steepest cuts are being felt in parks and recreation: “City officials hope to negotiate a deal with a big-box retailer that would allow residents to get discounts on riding mowers for voluntarily cutting grass in the parks.”
Read more here.

In Texas, the state DOT has informed Dallas officials it will no longer fund maintenance of the Central Expressway medians and planter boxes as originally envisioned, offering four options:
1 Do nothing and remove dead vegetation for free
2 Charge the city $650,000 annually for maintenance of existing landscape scheme
3 Reduce irrigation and mowing, and replace existing vegetation with native grasses for $150,000 annual maintenance fee
4 Wait until $6 million become available for hardscaping with concrete and metal decoration
Read more here.

[Having volunteers chase around the expressway with wheelbarrows apparently was not an option put on the table.]

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