SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s a multi-million dollar plan to clean up a trashed treasure.
Sacramento County Supervisors approved a plan to add new enforcement officers to push illegal campers out of the American River Parkway. But the plan is also drawing critics who worry It will send even more homeless into Sacramento neighborhoods.
A crowd packed the Sacramento Board of Supervisors Chamber with 60 members of the public signing up to speak.
“This is not a matter of aesthetics,” Geologist Roland Brady said.
Brady sent a dire warning out to supervisors about homeless debris and waste that will impact state waterways.
“If they don’t clean up the debris before the rains come, it will be one of the largest hazardous waste discharges of the year and the county and the city will be involved in this,” Brady said.
Sacramento supervisors, in 3-2 vote, responded by doubling the budget of its county parks, adding $5 million dedicated to enforcement and maintenance along the parkway.
Supervisor Phil Serna pushed for the plan.
“It’s big,” Serna said. “The parkway is not designed to handle those impacts when people are actually living down there.”
The boost in annual funding will go, in large part, to adding more park rangers in an effort to push the hundreds of homeless out of the parkway.
Sacramento county’s staff of 26 rangers will get 10 more, for a total of 36.
There are critics, including Sacramento Councilmember Jeff Harris, who is worried the plan will lead to more homeless on city streets.
“If they’re knocked off the parkway, they come into the city. In essence, county residents become city residents and the city then is trying to mitigate all those impacts,” Harris said.
Not all of the funding has been identified yet. The board will meet next month to approve exactly where funding will come from.
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