ACRA shall maximize recreational opportunities for all residents of Amador County through sustaiinable planning, financing, facilities operations, and programs.
Founded in 2003, the Amador County Recreation Agency (ACRA) is a joint powers authority designed to meet the recreation needs of all county residents and visitors. The agency creates, maintains and develops recreation facilities and programs within Amador County.
Prior to the formation of ACRA, a cohesive conduit through which to provide recreation services and park planning and development did not exist within the county. Due to Amador County's small and widely disbursed population, all of the five incorporated cities and the county itself had been challenged to meet even limited recreation services. In the past, to meet these needs, private organizations stepped up to manage organized sports and volunteer their time to assist in park and facility development. As the county began to grow, residents desired more in terms of park and recreation services. Each of the service areas and cities are too small to be able to afford a full-fledged recreation department of their own, so a collaborative, cooperative, county-wide agency was formed.
ACRA is the only recreation agency in the state to employ a JPA model with member entities consisting of all five incorporated cities, the county and the unified school district as active participants. The agency is overseen by a board of directors consisting of 10 members, all but two of whom are elected officials. This approach to a park and recreation delivery system is working for the benefit of the entire county.
The JPA model has proven beneficial for ACRA in that it allows the agency to tap into a wider array of resources (from the use of facilities to the knowledge of experts) than would otherwise be available, as each member entity has its own unique abilities and partnerships. This leads to greater and more diverse collaborations, which in turn improves the quality of services provided to the public.
Memberships in and contributions to ACRA are voluntary, resulting in an agency that is primarily soft-funded. Member contributions (at the rate of $5 per person) now account for $172,000 in annual revenue, up from $88,000 per year when the agency was first created. ACRA is also funded through the following sources:
» Michael Vasquez, Chair
» Peter Amoruso, Vice Chair
» Debbie Dunn, Clerk
» Members at Large
Linda Rianda, Wayne Garibaldi, Richard Forster, Brian Oneto, Pat Miller, Dan Epperson