Pima County is proposing changes to Rillito Regional Park, and is asking whether it should convert entirely to soccer fields, or retain the horse-racing facilities at the park.
A voter-approved 2004 bond program is providing funding to add three soccer fields to the park. The county is planning to ask voters to approve another bond, or taxpayer loan, next year, and wants to know what funding is needed, and what changes are desired, for the park, said Nanette Slusser, an assistant Pima County administrator.
With existing funding, three horse racing barns will be demolished to make room for the fields, she said.
“The meeting is being held to give the public a chance to see what’s going on with the 2004 bond program," she said. "We are starting to do the improvements that came out of the 2004 bond program to add soccer fields to the site and these soccer fields will be on the west end of the race track."
Future changes include more soccer fields, but a decision about whether to retain horse racing remains. In the past, proposals to eliminate horse-racing from the park have been controversial.
"Concepts have been developed for the future soccer fields and to allow continued racing," Slusser said.
A meeting this week will allow public feedback on the proposals.
"There are a couple of different concepts that will be showed at the meeting, and the meeting is really just to listen," she said, because no decision will be made this week.
The proposal will go to the Pima County Bond Advisory Committee, which is sorting through dozens of requests for hundreds of millions of dollars in future bond funding. The committee must come up with a proposed list of projects to borrow money for, and then voters would have to approve the plan before any money would be available.
Weigh in: A meeting on the future use of Rillito Regional Park is scheduled for May 21 at 6 p.m. at the Ellie Town Flowing Wells Community Center, 1660 W. Ruthrauff Rd.
Various future use concepts will be displayed at the meeting for public feedback. Some include soccer and horse racing, some solely soccer fields.