By: Sharon Aron Baron
Typically marked by low turnouts, special elections for bond items generally work in the government’s favor.
On Tuesday, March 13, the city is counting on residents passing $77 million in general obligation bonds to fund their much-needed projects. With a general election just around the corner, last December, the city commission voted to hold a special election for the bond items at a cost of $190,000. The bonds will be divided on the ballot as three separate questions where voters can then decide to vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ each one.
Although residents were hit with 23 percent tax increase last fall, it wasn’t enough to finance the projects and improvements – and keep the city running. While some of the items are much-needed, residents should question the necessity of others. Some of the more pressing items that voters should consider would be roadway improvements at $13.5 million which would include 85 miles on lanes that have not been resurfaced in 20 years. Also, drainage projects in the Corporate Park, and residential neighborhoods like Westchester, and the Meadows and Dells which would see various improvements to the existing drainage system at a cost of $10.3 million.
Some of the other proposed projects include: public safety and public works campus $18.5 million, a new pool for the aquatic complex as well as enhancements at $5.6 million, senior center $5 million, fire station 64 reconstruction $4 million, park lighting $3.4 million, amphitheater/splash pad $2 million, license plate readers for $1.6 million, and a tactical training facility for $1.5 million.
The items will be on three separate questions so residents can vote either way on each one. Most importantly, residents must get out and vote.