|A picnic table at Backlick Park.|
The TV news show followed up on an email from Annandale resident Binod Gupta, who said the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) failed to address his complaints about a broken slide, poorly maintained pathways, low-hanging branches, and trash build-up. The park is located at 4516 Backlick Road in Annandale.
|The slide can't be used until it's fixed.|
“We know the slide needs to be repaired. We’ve been working on making improvements in that park,” said Judy Pedersen, FCPA public information officer. Finding a replacement part for the slide has been challenging, she said. Once a part is found, it would take 45 to 60 days to fix the slide.
|The fitness equipment is being overtaken by weeds.|
“We do understand his frustration,” Pedersen said of Gupta. “We responded to each of his inquiries and our area manager offered to meet with him three times but he didn’t respond back.”
“Backlick Park is one of our older parks and our staff is stretched,” Petersen said. “It’s a continuing challenge.” The FCPA budget in recent years “has taken a lot of cuts, while the acreage of parkland has increased.” Backlick is not the only park deteriorating due to deferred maintenance.
FCPA has a backlog of $133 million for general maintenance of park facilities, she said. Since 2001, the budget for trails maintenance has been cut by 69 percent while 130 miles of trails have been added during the same period. The budget for contract mowing has been been steadily reduced over the years from $425,000 in 2005 to $271,000 in 2016.
She said funding for repairs to the walkways and parking lot at Backlick Park could come from the park bond on the November ballot.