‘Foundation’ to boost parks funding

In News by Reporter News

A nonprofit arrangement may soon boost Pearland’s parks funding.

City Council on Monday approved a contract with “Forever Parks Foundation of Pearland,” spelling out terms between the city and the recently formed nonprofit.

Foundations are often used by government agencies to solicit private funding, City Manager Clay Pearson said.

A parks foundation is basically fundraising board, with the primary purpose of helping the city improve its parks system. Donations for the Forever Parks Foundation will come from a utility billing donation fund.

“It’s something other cities have used to their great benefit,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “And the City of Pearland will benefit greatly by having it.”

The council has long discussed and in the last few years held several workshops on forming a parks foundation. Four initial board members identified last March, and since then those involved have been working to clear hurdles such as getting an official Certificate of Formation from the state and then filing for a tax exempt status with the IRS.

As a nonprofit separate from the city, a parks foundation opens the door to receiving funding from donors that don’t support government entities, since many private foundations and corporations don’t give money to cities for parks but may donate to a private nonprofit that supports them.

City staff added that the foundation would help push forward the goals of Pearland 2020, an overall plan that includes cultural and recreational amenities for the city.

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