Birmingham voters will consider an $11.2 million parks and recreation bond on the Nov. 3 ballot.
If approved, the 21-year bond would provide funding for improvements at the city’s ice arena, numerous city parks, playgrounds and the Rouge River trail system.
A potential new pickleball court and splash pad could be added, with their locations dependent on input from residents, according to a release from the city.
Improvements at the ice arena, which is more than 45 years old, would include an expansion of locker rooms, a new observation area and new concession facilities.
Some projects would begin next year, including improvements at Adams Park, Booth Park and the Rouge River Trail Corridor.
The bonds would be issued in two series; the first in the amount of $4.75 million in 2021 and the second totaling $6.5 million in 2024, as existing bond debt will be retired in those respective years.
Voters last approved a parks improvement bond almost 20 years ago. Existing bonds funding sewer and parks projects will be fully retired in 2024, providing an opportunity to continue parks improvements while minimizing the impact on taxpayers, the release said,.
Bonding allows the city to spread costs over 21 years, limiting the annual cost to taxpayers to $51.60 for every $250,000 of assessed value, according to the release.
The City Commission voted 4-3 July 20 to place the issue on the ballot. Mayor Pierre Boutros, Mayor Pro Tem Therese Longe and commissioners Clinton Baller and Brad Host supported the proposal.
Commissioners Rackeline Hoff, Mark Nickita and Stuart Sherman were opposed to putting the issue on the ballot.
Commissioners who supported the bond issue said the need for parks and recreation improvements is well documented in studies and that residents have expressed support for funding the projects.
Commissioners who opposed the ballot issue said residents have said they want to see their tax rates drop and questioned whether there was enough time to adequately inform residents about the proposal.
For more information, visit www.bhamgov.org/parksbond.
Residents may also sign up to receive information via the Parks & Recreation Bond Opportunity Constant Contact group at bit.ly/bhamnews.
Read More: Birmingham voters to consider parks and recreation bond | Elections