Update: The resolution to put SCIP bonds on the ballot failed in City Council’s meeting 1-27-2015. Council passed a nonbinding resolution to fund stormwater projects on a pay-as-you-go basis. Parks were not mentioned in that resolution. Priority projects identified under the SCIP bond proposal will not be funded.
The Trails and Open Space Coalition is encouraging the public to reach out to members of city council and encourage them to put the $145 million SCIP bond issue on the April ballot.
On the importance to parks:
• Parks has a $180M backlog of high priority capital improvement projects. This doesn’t attempt to solve the long term problem of sustainable parks funding, but $10M would address important Parks projects.
• The $10M over 5 years would pay for projects that have no other funding sources except the general fund, such as irrigation system replacement and playground replacements.
• Important trail projects can go forward, like repairing the remaining parts of the Incline and completing the Rock Island and Shooks Run portions of the legacy Loop Trail.
• Using this bond money frees up general fund dollars for other parks needs, including parks maintenance.
• Replacing natural turf playing fields with artificial turf permits year around use, reducing maintenance costs, and increasing parks revenues, which go into the general fund.
On importance to the voters:
• Not a tax increase, no new taxes.
• There is an economic benefit to our community. Capital improvement projects add jobs and add value to our local economy.
• Projects are dispersed across the entire city.
• Bond rates are low right now.
• Bonds are repaid with sales tax revenue, not property taxes.
Please join TOSC and encourage city council to let the people vote in April, and do it soon.
Council will vote on this measure January 27th.