Boise residents will vote Tuesday on two bond proposals that total $51 million with financing fees. That translates to about $32 million in actual spending money.
The city would use some of the funds to buy more open space, likely in the foothills for instance. Money would also be used to build three new city parks and upgrade three others.
Doug Holloway is the head of Boise’s Parks and Rec Department. He’s stands on an 8 acre site covered in wood chips. Right now, the space is used as a dog park. It’s at the corner or Irving and Mitchell streets, just south of Fairview Ave. If the parks bonds pass, this area would be developed with playground equipment, shelters, restrooms, a splash-pad and skate park.
Holloway can’t campaign for or against the bonds, but says to get the new park built anytime soon, his department needs extra money.
“The prognosis of this [space] getting developed without the bond is probably fairly slim,” he says. “It’s still a priority, and will be a priority, but unfortunately without the bond it probably is going to take a lot longer.”
A group of Boise residents have come together to urge voters to approve the extra debt. The group’s co-chair, Hollis Brookver, says the parks bonds are “legacy” investments and will help the city with economic development.
“We’re never going to have the lowest taxes,” she says. “We have to have the quality of life - the livability- that companies look at when they’re going to relocate, or stay, in Boise.”
Brookover and other supporters tout the overall bond package as costing the owner of an average Boise home – worth $184,000 -- about $12 a year in extra taxes for the next 20 years.
“I’m looking at a huge investment that the taxpayers are already making, and assuming that there are some efficiencies that could be gained,” he says.
Jarocki would like to see the city find money in its regular Parks and Recreation budget and build one park every two years.
The parks and open space bonds total $15.7 million. They’ll require a two-thirds majority to pass.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio