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Mesa sets sights on beautifying parks

MESA, Ariz. -- After rounds of budget shortfalls cut the amount of staff and money the City of Mesa could put in to improving city parks, things are starting to get better.

Now the city is making plans to increase the funding that would go to city parks, to update irrigation systems, add more lights and repair fields.

The parks department is getting its ideas for plans from residents who give the city advice on the iMesa website.

"Slowly, as the economic climate starts to change, we're adding more water and fertilization, and get back on our maintenance opportunities that we couldn't take care of due to staff reductions as well as funding reductions," said

The parks aren't in horrible shape, said Marc Heirshberg, director of parks, recreation and commercial facilities, they just look worn down.

"What we're doing is making sure we're talking to the community and getting their feedback to make sure on track," said Heirshberg.

The renovations could take up to seven years to complete. According to Heirshberg, the city wouldn't do all the repairs at once in order to save money.

While many of the parks will get repairs, others could see new baseball fields and playgrounds.

The city is evaluating whether or not to include the funding in a bond measure to be voted on in November. The last time Mesa residents passed a bond measure involving city parks was 1996.

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