The Facts on Belmont’s Parks and Recreation Bonds – Vote November 6

October 3, 2007 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

The City of Belmont sent out the September water bills and included an information flyer about the P & R Bond referendum on the November ballot.

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The following is a transcript of the text of the flyer, our program does not allow us to replicate all the fancy bullet markings:

  • The Belmont city Council voted unanimously to call for a $12 million Parks and Recreation Bond Referendum on November 6, 2007 to the the acquisition of land, the development of new recreation facilities, and the upgrading and development of existing  parks.
  • The referendum ask Belmont citizens to give the City permission to uses a special type of financing for the projects — General Obligation (GO) bonds.
  • GO bonds are the least costly financing option available for these projects.
  • The deadline to register for the November 6, 2007 general election is October 12, 2007.
  • Belmont polling locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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Parks and Recreation in our community offers our citizens the opportunity to use their leisure time in the parks, on the playing fields, and through special events.

The Parks & Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan from 2003 notes the following points regarding recreation needs in Belmont:

  • The City will need to acquire land for and develop one community park (20-30 acres), develop one neighborhood park (10-15 acres), and develop five mini parks (1-2 acres) to accomodate both existing and anticipated needs by the year 2013.
  • The community park should be intensely developed to provide multiple fields such as youth baseball, adult softball, football, and soccer. This park should be a high priority.
  • The neighborhood park should be developed on City-owned land with passive recreational amenities such as trails, picnic areas, and shelters.
  • A mini park should be developed on City-owned riverfront land as a passive use facility.
  • Park sites should be acquired in the northern, eastern, and southern parts of the City to provide facilities for underserved areas.
  • General obligation bonds shouldbe used as the major funding source for the proposed park acquisition and development activities.

FINANCIAL FACTS ON BELMONT’S PARKS AND RECREATION BONDS 

  • The Belmont City Council has voted unanimously to place a $12,000,000 parks and recreation bond issue before Belmont voters on November 6, 2007

  • The projects included in the bond funding have been developed from a lengthy planning process that included strong citizen input.

  • All Belmont polling locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

How will the City pay for the bond projects?

The City plans to borrow the money by selling general obligation (G.O.) bonds.

Why general obligation bonds?

G.O. bonds are the cheapest, fastest financing options available to the City for these projects. Because this type of bond pledges the city’s taxing authority as a commitment to repay the bonds, financial markets require less interest than other types of municipal borrowings.

How will the City pay back the bonds?

G.O. bonds can be paid back using revenue from any sources available to the City, including fees and taxes. Since the bond projects can be spread out over a number of years, the City has time to choose the best way to repay the debt. If approved, the bonds would be repaid over a 20-year period once issued.

How will the Parks and Recreation bonds affect the property tax rate?

The answer to this question depends on several factors: the growth in the tax base fro year to year, the dollar amount and time period in which the bonds are issued, and the availability of other revenue sources available  to help pay the bond debt. If the entire $12,000,000 bond amount were to be issued at one time, it would require a tax rate of 10.6 cents to generate the revenue that would be needed to pay the annual debt costs. since it is not in the City’s plan to issue the bonds at one time but, instead, to do so over several years, the tax implications would be significantly less and would be reduced even further by the continued growth of the tax base.

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Entry filed under: Belmont, Belmont Banner, Bond Referendums, Community, Economic Development, Elections, Front Porch, Land use, Life, Parks and Recreation, Planning & Zoning, Politics, Quality of Life, Small Town.

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