Balboa Park is in need of repairs, and the City of San Diego is pushing a proposal to make millions of dollars worth of fixes to the landmark – and other parks across the city.
Assessment teams recently examined Balboa Park, including its 13 museums, the historic 1910 Balboa Park Carousel, four theaters, 21 restrooms, horse stables and the pool. Many of the attractions were rated by the teams as being in fair to poor condition.
According to park staff, the areas that are most in need of repairs include the San Diego Air and Space Museum and Casa De Balboa. The sites need about $15 million and $11 million-worth of improvements, respectively.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Automotive Museum needs repairs totaling $8.3 million, and the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center needs $4.6 million to fund fixes. The long-vacant Starlight Bowl and The Old Globe could also use upgrades, each with a price tag of about $4.5 million.
On Wednesday, the City of San Diego presented a proposal to the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee for a $100 million plan to fund repairs to local parks: more than $79 million for Balboa Park and nearly $25 million for other parks.
In all, the fields and playgrounds at 76 other parks were examined by assessment teams. Forty-eight of the parks were found to be in good condition while 12 were in fair shape and 16 were in poor condition.
Many of the parks in need of repairs have deteriorating retaining walls and broken walkways. The worst of the bunch include community parks in Allied Gardens, Pacific Beach and Paradise Hills.
According to one group, the Balboa Park Heritage Foundation, the money to fund the park repairs could come from a raising the local hotel tax. The group proposes a ballot initiative to raise the hotel tax by 1.5 to 2.5 percent to raise the money for the repairs.
But the San Diego Tourism Authority thinks otherwise and believes hotel tax money should go towards the longtime battle to expand the San Diego Convention Center.