It is one thing to build a community center. But where is the money coming from to operate it?
Ballot issue 4C is a mill levy increase to provide operating money for the Recreation District. Included in 4C is $140,000 to operate the community center. Operational expenses for the community center are calculated to be $440,000 annually. The revenues are anticipated to be $300,000 a year. The difference of $140,000 is what taxpayers will contribute to the operation of the community center. The mill levy, unlike the bond, operates continuously.
What happens if $140,000 is not enough to operate the community center? Will the Recreation board come back to ask for more?
The portfolio used to generate expenses and revenues is conservative just so this situation would not likely occur. It is based on staffing and utility data from current operations and other similar operations. By law, elected boards have to ask voters for increases in taxes. Should $140,000 be inadequate in the near term, it seems highly likely that the board would make operational and budgetary adjustments rather than ask voters for additional funds.
What is included in the proposed mill levy increase (4C)?
Two-thirds of the mill levy is for expanding programs: $140,000 to operate the new community center, as stated above; $175,000 for trail development (and maintenance). The remaining one-third or $158,000 will support existing programs and on-going maintenance. These include $40,000 to pay the District’s increased share of the operational expenses at the current Aquatic Center; on-going maintenance projects at Stanley Park such as resurfacing tennis and basketball courts, fencing and shelter repairs; pine beetle abatement and replanting trees lost to the pine beetle; and putting the district’s $1.5M vehicle and maintenance equipment on a 20 year rotational basis.
How much will the mill levy increase cost?
For every $100,000 value of a home, the cost is $0.80 per month, or $9.60 per year.
I like the community center but not some of the other items in the bond issue (4C). What are the other parts of the bond and what will they cost me?
Clearly the largest part of the bond is the construction of the Community Center. The Community Center will cost $12.6 million of bond funds to build or 85 percent of the $14.9 bond total. The remaining $2.3 million will be used to:
1). provide $1.1 million in infrastructure replacement and upgrades at the current Aquatic Center. The school district made some improvements last year but there are $1.1 million in needed improvements to replace worn out and inefficient heating and ventilation systems, provide energy efficient lighting, a handicap lift and electrical work.
2). An additional $742,000 will be used to replace the irrigation system at the Lake Estes nine-hole golf course. This system is over 25 years old. It wastes water and parts for the system are no longer manufactured.
3). $360,000 will be used to replace four restrooms around Lake Estes with ADA compliant restrooms.
4.) The final $100,000 will be used to put in an accessible toilet at the District’s gun range and to build new backstops to better collect lead projectiles.
The bond is equivalent to a mortgage and in this case, sunsets after twenty years. The cost to the taxpayer for the total bond is $2.72 per month for each $100,000 home value. For each $100,000 home value the cost per month for each of the smaller components in the bond is as follows: replacing the irrigation system at the nine hole golf course, $0.09 per month, or $1.14 per year; Aquatic Center infrastructure improvements $0.14 per month, or $1.70 per year; providing four ADA compliant restrooms around Lake Estes, $0.05 per month or $0.60 per year; and for improvements at the gun range, $0.007 per month or $0.08 per year.