Members of the Washington park board expressed thanks to the city’s sales tax commission for its selection of capital projects.
The sales tax committee recently completed a list of 32 possible projects that could be funded with proceeds from a half-cent capital improvement sales tax. An eight-year extension of the tax will be on the ballot for the April 3 election.
Of the 32 projects, 13 were parks related. The projects were projected to cost more than $7.5 million of the $16.3 million estimated to be spent on capital projects.
City Administrator Darren Lamb presented these numbers at Thursday’s park board meeting. Park Board Chairman Sparky Stuckenschneider said he wanted to thank the commission for its support of parks projects.
The projects also were presented to the Washington City Council Monday.
The parks department, unlike other city departments, doesn’t have a revenue source. In order for projects to be completed, funds must come from other sources, like the half-cent sales tax.
Lamb said the committee had worked for months trying to pare down the list in an attempt to make sure as many projects were funded. The parks department originally requested a number of projects totaling $13,490,000.
That number was trimmed, but the parks department still will receive a good chunk of the funds if the tax is approved by voters.
The parks projects backed by the sales tax commission include money for a new pool/aquatics complex and renovations to the city auditorium. The department is discussing moving its offices and could use the old pool house or the basement of the auditorium for its new location.
The pool is expected to cost about $4 million and would be a replacement of the existing outdoor facility.
Other projects include renovation of the Hillermann Park tennis courts and bathrooms, roofing repairs, Lions Lake pavilion upgrades, a new playground at Phoenix Park, a replacement of playground equipment at Krog Park and the second phase of the skate park project.
The committee also backed plans for phase one of a riverfront park project, a roof for the main stage and fencing for the fairgrounds.
Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle said he’s most excited money would be set aside for a remodel of the current office. He said his staff needs more storage space to keep equipment covered and more room to make repairs.
From an operations point of view, Dunkle said the changes should help tremendously.