Ballots are in the mail for the proposed $1.5 million park district

Ballots for the city’s first park district vote are in the mail.

The ballots also include school board races and a vote on a proposed school district levy.

May 8 2018 sample ballot-page-001.jpg

Ballots are due by May 8.

Here’s a few key things to know about the proposed city-wide park district:

  1. If approved, the park district assessment would be added to property tax bills for anyone owning property in the city limits. The assessment is an estimated 23 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. So for a $100,000 property, the assessment is an estimated $23 annually. For a $150,000 property, it’s $34.50. For a $200,000 property, it’s an estimated $46 annually. On a $250,000 property, it’s an estimated $57.50 annually.
  2. The park district is on the May 8 ballot as mandated by state law and the ballot language is also dictated by state law.
  3. The park district is proposed for 20 years. Commissioners could end the park district early if the city’s needs are met. If the city wanted to continue a park district, the process would start over in its entirety.
  4. The park district assessment amount would be set annually by commissioners. It’s the same process for the street assessment, which is paid by all property owners in the city limits, and special assessment districts such as the Boulevard District and Portage Meadows districts. All assessments are set during the budget process and all of them include public hearings.
  5. The proposed park district is for $1.5 million annually for the first three years to begin addressing the roughly $12 million in deferred maintenance at city parks and facilities. Other than repairing the bath house at Electric City Water Park, the assessment doesn’t address needs in the aquatics facilities or golf courses.

Want to know more?

Here’s our coverage over the last year on the park district proposal, the planned projects for the first three years and other Park and Rec issues.

Rallies, informational meetings planned for park district, school levy and national heritage area

Proposed pool fee increases small; aquatics program facing larger budgetary challenges

City to seek proposals for management of both golf courses

Park district goes to May 8 ballot

Commission approves CDBG funds for Great Falls park, sidewalks, housing authority

GFPS asks city for portion of Kranz Park to build parking lot

Public hearing on sending park district to the ballot is Feb. 6

Park district is on track to go to May 8 ballot for $1.5 million assessment

Options considered for park district include lower assessment rate, flat fee

Park district back on agenda for first commission meeting of new year

City forestry completes 7-year project of hazard tree trimming

Agreement to formalize city-River’s Edge Trail Foundation partnership proposed

Things to know about the proposed Great Falls park district

West Bank Park master plan improvements nearly complete

Park District assessment considered to support city park system