2019 Bond Part 1

Months of meetings, thousands of pages of reading, and what you see on the May ballot all comes down to the decisions that the council will make during the next few weeks.

Original Write-Up

We started the process back in August looking at $1.2B in citizen, council, and staff requests. A council-appointed bond study group met for several months and prioritized the list. They provided three tiers of projects to the city council, with a committee recommendation of $475M in projects to send to the voters in May. Because the council has a greater degree of control over our city’s strategic direction, we’ve further prioritized or eliminated projects from the list. As of last Saturday, we had worked the list down to $416M (with several placeholder amounts for additional study).

I’ve attached the draft file (in excel format) for the work we did on Saturday. As of last night (Mon 1/14), we’ve brought up a number of additional tweaks and adjustments. We are planning to work through the rest of the items at a special work session on 1/24/18, 6pm at City Hall.

Attached Excel File:

We’re holding public hearings at both the 1/24/18 special meeting, and at the February 5th council meeting. The quicker we hear your input, the more likely we are to be able to make easy adjustments.

There are a few very high priority items for me on this list:
1) Police Evidence Room – We’re out of places to store evidence. The evidence we store has to be stored under standards set by the Federal Govt. This is an unfunded mandate from the State and Federal level.
2) Naaman School Road – Nightly mile-long backups. We need to bring the Brand Rd bridge up over 15 feet out of the flood plain and rebuild/widen Naaman School Road. I ran on this issue 2 years ago Write-Up.
3) Animal Shelter Replacement Write-Up
4) Winters Park Lighting – The lighting system is 40+ years old, and we’ve already had a pole fall. Partnering with GP&L, we can replace the lighting for roughly $2M. This is a public safety issue at this point.

Council has yet to decide on a method to pay for the bond items. Anything with a total over $100M will require some form of tax increase. By and large the feedback that I’ve received is that we should proceed with all deliberate speed to bring the question to the voters and let them decide what elements are important to them in the city. Please look through the spreadsheet and let me know what your thoughts are!