Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin is the functional head of the Community Services Department. In this capacity, he oversees the operation of the City’s Recreation Division, Senior Services Division, and Emergency Services. The primary responsibility of the Community Services Department is to ensure the availability of open space for recreational opportunities and high quality public facilities for residents and businesses to use for leisure or business meetings.
The Community Services Department and the city benefited from the increased development in Riverside County over the past several years. The development fee revenues generated from new residential projects, which are the primary funding source for the creation of new parks, resulted in unprecedented growth in our park system, nearly doubling the parkland acreage that was available in 2004. However, with slower growth in the local economy, the challenge for the department will be to generate new revenue sources to maintain existing parks, facilities, and programs to keep up with the increased demand for more affordable recreational activities.
There are funded park projects that are anticipated to go forward to construction this year including the renovation of Bob Long Park, and the skate park at Paragon Park. Other long term projects that are in design but not ready for construction include Morgan Park Phase II and the Linear Park Phase II. Preliminary work is also being done on a proposed Perris Aquatics Center with the assistance of the Perris Aquatic Center Planning Committee. Key objectives for this year will include completion of an Aquatics Center report with recommendations on financing, and potential partnerships with local school districts for operation of the facility; and obtaining grant funding from the state of California Proposition 84 Park Act for the development of new park land.