A conservation measure that was on Tuesday’s ballot that passed easily in Polk County is getting attention from other areas of the state. The central Iowa voters approved $50-million in spending on conservation and outdoor projects over the next 20 years.
Polk County conservation director, Dennis Parker, says that 72-percent approval of the “Water and Land Legacy” issue sends a message. “The overall aim is to protect and improve the environment, the natural resource environment here in Polk County and to provide for the public benefit in outdoor recreation and it’s a pretty outstanding commitment that they’ve voted here to show that support,” according to Parker.
The money will be used for everything from funding trails to dredging a lake in southern Des Moines. Parker says the success of the measure in the state’s largest county has others interested.
“We’ve already had response from other counties that they’re interested in pursuing something similar to this, the needs are out there statewide,” Parker says. “They’re interested in looking at this opportunity and seeing how this is brought forward to the public in Polk County, and if that type of support in Polk County carries throughout the state.”
Johnson County authorized a similar commitment four years ago. A typical homeowner in Polk County will pay about $12 a year for conservation and outdoor recreation improvements under the plan.