Rec/Park bond measure: Details on $14 million proposal expected next week
June 15, 2011
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; The fate of a new aquatics facility, performing arts center and two new trails could be learned next week, when officials are expected to vote on a bond measure proposal that is $6 million less than the first go-round.At the Thursday, June 23 Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District board meeting, trustees will review a new voter survey and updated economic impact data, as well as two different aquatics feasibility studies andamp;#8212; both estimated to lower the cost of the complex by roughly $6 million, meaning the total bond would cost taxpayers $14 million over 30 years.Kevin Murphy, TDPRD board member, said the information will likely determine whether or not it will be possible to put the bond out for a November vote. A drop dead date for decision by the board to make a November election is July 5, he said.andamp;#8220;Whatandamp;#8217;s exciting is that all of this stuff is coming together to really finalize things for us to make a decision,andamp;#8221; Murphy said.Murphy said the voter survey, conducted by TBWB Strategies and Godbe Research for about $15,000, will indicate if district residents are willing to pay for the bond, which, under its $14 million terms, would cost homeowners an estimated $10.50 per $100,000 assessed value per year for 30 years andamp;#8212; about $31.50 annually for the average home in Truckee, estimated at $300,000.The survey and economic impact data andamp;#8212; showing how the facilities will improve Truckeeandamp;#8217;s economy andamp;#8212; will likely significantly motivate a board decision next week, Murphy said. The data also will reveal the specifics of the aquatics changes, which are not expected to decrease the square footage of the proposed facility, officials said.The initial proposal would have allotted $12.5 million for an aquatics center, $6.5 million for a performing arts center and about $8 million for the Legacy Trail, Tahoe Donner Connector Trail and the Brockway Trail completion andamp;#8212; a total of $27 million, with the additional $7 million coming from leftover funds from the recently built community center.
While aquatics facilities are expected to take the brunt of the cost reductions, the number of proposed trails has declined from three to two.Initially, the bond was intended to fund the completion of the Legacy Trail, a Tahoe Donner connector trail and the Brockway Trail completion; however, the Brockway trail has since been subtracted from the list.Murphy said cost reduction efforts were designed to make the bond more palpable to voters, some of whom had voiced complaints previously about the $20 million price tag.andamp;#8220;Everybody sort of had to give, you might say,andamp;#8221; said Paco Lindsay, a board member of the Truckee Trails Foundation. andamp;#8220;It was a tough decision from a trails standpoint, but weandamp;#8217;re all partners here.andamp;#8221;Dan Kates, president of the Truckee Aquatic Coalition, said aquatics reductions are a compromise that will help the bond be approved.andamp;#8220;After seeking feedback from the public and our political consultant, we concluded that this figure (the $20 million bond) was at the outer limits of what the voters would supportandamp;#8221; Kates said.Another caveat will be how voting is done, as the previous bond would have gone out to a mail-in-only special election. According to Placer and Nevada county election rules, if the bond is on the November ballot, it must be a polled vote.Murphy said he anticipates the change will not affect the final outcome of voters.andamp;#8220;Weandamp;#8217;ve had to spend a little along the way to make sure we had all our Ts crossed and Is dotted,andamp;#8221; said board member John Monson, adding that in the end, he feels the data that will be presented next week is worth the cost.andamp;#8220;For the future of recreation in Truckee, this is quite an important vote,andamp;#8221; Monson said.Pending board approval, Kates said he has set a campaign funding goal of $50,000 to support the bond and is already compiling a list of stakeholders willing to contribute, including organizations likely to support the project, as well as businesses linked with construction.