Check your mailboxes this week – the City sent you a postcard reminding you to vote! Here’s one last push to better explain the mail-in ballot initiative on the new community center.
Know Your Facts:
- Not voting in this mail-in ballot election is essentially a “NO” vote. The City can only legally build a new community center if a “YES” vote passes. A majority of voters must approve the new facility for construction to start.
- Your property taxes WILL NOT increase with a “YES” vote. A “YES” vote includes a 1/4 cent sales tax. If revenue projections drastically change and the sales tax doesn’t bring in enough money to cover the bond payment, plenty of options exist to make adjustments. These options don’t include raising property taxes or significantly impacting City services. Tools available include refinancing bonds to a longer term or reprioritizing non-essential areas of the budget. Read More.
- The City WILL issue bonds with both a “YES” vote or a “NO” Vote. The City currently has $6 million available for the build new or repair/renovate option, so bonds would need to be issued either way. While the total price tag for repair/renovation ($20 million) is less than build new ($30 million) option, the annual debt payment is more because a new revenue source (the sales tax) wouldn’t be implemented. You can read more about this on our FAQs page.
- There WILL NOT be a dramatic increase to membership fees. If you combine the community center and pool membership rates, projected rates for an individual membership would see about a $1 decrease per month while a family membership would see about a $7 increase per month.
- A “YES” Vote WILL NOT impact the quality of Merriam’s parks, streets, or roads. The City has worked hard over the past few years to finish a number of major infrastructure improvement projects listed in the Capital Improvement Plan (the program used to fund improvements to parks, streets, roads and other infrastructure). We are also in the midst of several projects that are already funded. With a majority of infrastructure projects behind us, we’ve entered a cycle of repair and will focus on maintaining our infrastructure to the level our residents expect.
Your Vote Counts!
You’ll determine the future of recreation in our community by deciding if the City should replace the current 100+ year-old Irene B. French Community Center and 30+ year-old Merriam Aquatic Center with a new community center at Vavra Park.
You Have the Ballot – Now What?
Voters have to fill out the ballot with a “YES” or “NO” vote and sign the “Statement of Voter” on the return envelope.
Voters can either return the ballot in the mail using the yellow envelope or hand deliver it to the Johnson County Election Office (2101 E. Kansas City Road; Olathe, KS; 66061) by Sept. 15 at noon. A 24-hour drop box is also available at the front entrance of the Election Office.
More information is at merriam.org/buildingcommunity.