June 20, 2021

Park board weighs MPAC bond date, promotion

How much are community amenities worth? Creston city officials will find out as they attempt to pass a bond measure to renovate the municipal pool, now dubbed the McKinley Park Aquatic Center, possibly as early as September.

The Creston Parks and Recreation Board has a second shot at renovating the McKinley Park Aquatic Center through a bond election after a match grant supplied $100,000. The previous attempt to renovate the MPAC failed at the ballot and board members discussed how to go about garnering voter support for the $2 million bond.

“I think if we go a little bit bigger this time, one, we’re more educated on what we’re trying to do, and two, people coming to town are way more educated than we were last time,” board member Gary Borcherding said.

Samantha Baird stressed visual presentation as a means of selling the initiative.

“You have to have the pretty pictures to be able sell it,” Baird said. “They won’t care about anything unless you have the pretty pictures and then you’re going to be able to tell them how we’re going to get it to look like that, how much it’s going to cost to get it to look like that and why we need it.”

Aside from visual mock-ups, the board agreed to forgo online engagement in favor of public meetings catering mostly to senior voters. Borcherding said the MPAC bond has a better chance at success by appealing to the demographic that votes most often.

“You’re going to get them quicker by offering coffee and doughnuts than you are by offering online,” he said.

The total project is projected to cost $5.4 million. If passed, the $2 million bond would be repaid by increasing the city of Creston’s property tax rate by $1.00 per $1,000 of valuation. Considering residential rollbacks, a home assessed at $100,000 would be levied an additional $56.92 per year, or about $4.74 monthly. The bond will help secure additional grants and pledges. The establishment of an endowment will provide revenue for maintenance and repairs.

In other Parks and Recreation news:

• the board approved a Jeep Show 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 10 in McKinley Park.