Belmont puts parks bonds on the ballot

August 16, 2007 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

An historic first was completed in relative obscurity on Tuesday night at a special meeting of the Belmont City Council.

The council voted 4-0 ( incumbent re-election candidate, Charlie Flowers, was absent) to place a $12 million bond referendum on the November 6, general election ballot.

This is Belmont’s first attempt to allow voters to help/decide the fate of future parks and recreation infrastructure development. The bond wording specifically states, “to provide funding for…the acquistion of land, renovation, and facility construction for parks and recreation development in the City of Belmont”.

A sparsely attended crowd attended the state-required public hearing where the city council officialy voted to place the bond request to voters. It was pretty much a done deal and just formality Tuesday evening.

During the discusssion, Mayor Richard Boyce asked Recreation Advisory Committee Chair, Todd Neely, about the marketing plans to help passage of the bond. Mr. Neely stated that the plans would be announced within the month.

As noted, several priorities were established for use of the bond proceeds.

  1. funds for the construction of a community skatepark
  2. funds for the acquistion of land for a district park to include soccer and baseball fields
  3. funds to construct a waterfront park
  4. funds to renovate existing parks and improve infrastructure

The advisory committee had been working for months preparing the request and priorities for the bond. This step was a result of a 10-year master plan adopted in 2003. Since the recent acceptance and adoption by the council of a Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the bond is a logical step in the process.

At earlier public hearings, City Manager, Barry Webb, noted that the bond will add pennies to the tax rate, but that can be spread out over time. Municipal bonds are generally paid back at lower percentage rates than what individuals or businesses can receive from private financing.

We are looking forward to the implementation of the marketing plan by the advisory committee. By state law, the committee and council cannot use public funds to sway public opinion. They can however, develop and publish informational materials about the facts of the bond. Private individuals or groups can raise money to promote their interest for or against the bond passage.

Keep an eye on the Belmont Front Page for more developments as we move to the general election on November 6.

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Entry filed under: Belmont, Community, Economic Development, Front Porch, Land use, Life, News, Politics, Quality of Life, Skateboarding, Soccer, Sports, Youth Sports.

Uh, Oh – Feds want to build holding center Rain Relief on the Way ?

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