Parks Bond Proposition: Election Day May 4, 2019
On February 4, 2019, the City of Fredericksburg City Council approved submitting a bond proposition to the voters. If approved by the voters, this proposition would provide bond funding for the creation of a new community sports park. The park would include baseball, softball, and soccer fields, as well as tennis courts. The proposition would also fund the renovation of Oak Crest Park. The following is intended to inform voters of the project parameters so they can make an informed decision on this bond election.
Amount of Proposed bond: $6.1 million
Date of Election: May 4, 2019 (Early Voting April 22 - 26 and April 29 - 30) Voting Hours
Voting Location: Early Voting - Girl Scout Cabin located at 202 W. Austin Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; Election Day May 4th - Fredericksburg Middle School located at 110 W. Travis Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Project Location: South State Highway 16 between Oak Crest Park and the Gillespie County Airport - These 42 acres were purchased by the City for park use in the spring of 2017.
Date of Completion: If approved by voters, the park is anticipated to be complete by the spring of 2022.
Anticipated Amenities Include: 4 Lighted Baseball/Softball Fields, 5 Soccer Areas (2 - 4 fields per area), 4 Tennis Courts, Renovate 1 Baseball Field at Oak Crest Park, Restrooms, Food Truck Areas
Estimated Tax Impacts:
- No impact to senior citizen's homestead age 65 & older who have applied for exemptions and not made any major improvements to homestead
- Debt Service Estimate: 1.67₵ per $100 property value
- Tax Impacts Estimate on $300,000 home: $50.10 per year
- Initial Tax Impacts to begin in 2020
- Estimated Annual Revenue from team sports and tournaments: $15,000
- Estimated Annual Maintenance & Operations Costs: $450,000*
|House Value||Current City Taxes||Taxes if bond passes||Difference per Year|
*Explanation of Estimated Annual Maintenance & Operations Costs
One of the primary questions that we have received during the past month regarding the proposed Sports Park is the maintenance and operating costs that the City will incur if the bonds are approved and the Sports Park is constructed. This statement by the City is intended to provide additional facts that will help clarify the maintenance and operating costs involved with the Sports Park.
The public should be aware that the Sports Park will take almost two years to design and construct. Developing estimates on the costs to maintain and operate a facility two years from now is difficult as these costs will likely change during this two-year period. It is interesting to note that the City of New Braunfels is proposing a $26 million sports park on their May ballot and they are not including any information on maintenance and operating costs in their bond information. However, we are trying to be as transparent as possible with this bond election.
It also should be understood that parks maintenance and operating costs are subject to discussion and approval by the City Council during the normal annual budgeting process. The City Council has not had any discussion about this budget since such a discussion would be presumptuous that the bonds will pass.
Several months ago, we developed a very preliminary estimate on the annual costs for maintaining and operating the Sports Park that totaled $450,000. This included costs for personnel, supplies, chemicals, utilities and the lease-purchase of equipment. This number was an estimate only. It did not include any revenues that we may collect from user fees to offset these costs. This estimate also did not include any volunteer labor that might be available from the sports associations or others that could offset some of our maintenance costs.
One of the largest cost items in the estimates was for the lease purchase of equipment at a total cost of $163,000 over a three-year period. These costs were projected to be paid during the first three years of operation of the Sports Park. The City Council may elect to proceed with the purchase of some or all of this equipment over the next two years. This would reduce the cost estimates by about $32,000 per year.
Another option that the City Council will likely want to consider is contracting out certain of the maintenance responsibilities at the Sports Park. Once again, this option has not been discussed since the bonds have not yet been approved.
If the bonds pass next month, it will be important for the City to properly maintain and operate this facility. It will represent a total investment of over $8 million by the City and County. We need to protect this investment and ensure that the new Sports Park continues to be a quality facility that both local children and adults will enjoy for many years. We will closely review future maintenance and operating costs and consider all reasonable options for controlling these costs in the future.
What's different from the previous Bond Election in November 2017?
- Proposed Bond Issue decreased from $12.6 million to $6.1 million
- Tax rate estimated at 1.6 cents vs. previous estimate of 3 to 3.5 cents per $100 property value
- Gillespie County cash contribution of $2.3 million for a total project cost of $8.4 million
- Added 4 tennis courts
- Removed 2 baseball fields
- Decreased parking by 50%
- Replaced concession buildings with food truck areas
- Removed lighting on one soccer field
- Removed playgrounds, pavilions, benches, signage, trash receptacles, landscaping, trees, bleachers
- Local Sports Associations to fundraise for amenities removed from the 2017 project
For additional information or to schedule a presentation to your group, please contact:
Andrea Schmidt, Parks & Recreation Director