Fate of town park in voters' hands - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Fate of town park in voters' hands

Question 400 asks to borrow $48.6M for 213-acre park

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Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Oro Valley voters next week decide the fate of the Naranja bond issue, a multi-million dollar spending proposal to build a park in the heart of town.

Building plans for the 213-acre park show eight baseball and softball fields, three soccer fields, one multipurpose field, 12 tennis courts, nine basketball courts, 3 volleyball courts, walking trails, a skate park, BMX bicycle track and a dog park. 

Labeled Question 400 on the ballot, town leaders seek voter approval to sell general obligation bonds to fund the $48.6 million construction project.

Town financial officials estimate the interest rate on the bonds at an average of 5 percent and not to exceed 12 percent over the 25-year bonding period.

Town officials estimate the total cost of the park  — including construction, principal and interest payments — would reach more than $85.8 million.

Should voters approve the bond, a secondary property tax would repay the debt.

The property tax would expire once the dept is paid off. Election materials estimate the debt would be paid by 2033.

The tax rate associated with park funding would vary, starting at 52 cents per $100 assessed value in 2010 with annual reductions.

Estimates show the tax rate would stand at 27 cents by 2033, the anticipated last year of the secondary property tax.

The town council acquired the 213-acre parcel in two purchases, one in 1996 and another in 2000.

A master plan for the park was completed in 2002 after a series of nearly 30 task force and other public meetings.

The town council also has debated the park issue numerous times since first acquiring the property.

Since 2000, the issue has been discussed at 57 council meetings and in executive session three times.

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