November 27, 2022
Improvements outlined if St. Joseph voters approve parks sales tax

Improvements outlined if St. Joseph voters approve parks sales tax
Krug Park amphitheater/Photo by Brent Martin

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

St. Joseph City Council members have approved placing a
half-cent park sales tax on the August ballot.

Now, a special committee appointed by the council has outlined
a spending plan.

City officials project the half-cent increase in the city
sales tax to raise between $50 million to $60 million before it expires in 10
years.

St. Joseph City Manager Bryan Carter says, if voters approve
the tax increase, the money would be spent to make improvements throughout the
city.

“St. Joseph, of course, has a very large park system for a
city of our size,” Carter tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “We have a
lot of amenities within that parks system and those amenities, of course, cost
some money to keep maintained. So, this is an opportunity to invest in those amenities
and really help improve that parks system.”

The Park Sales Tax Committee has agreed on a proposed list of
improvements should voters approve the tax, including improvements to Krug Park,
the Aquatic Park, Phil Welch, the Bode Parks Complex, Hyde Park, the Civic Arena,
and throughout the entire parks system. A portion of the money would improve
rest rooms at the parks, along with shelters. Basic maintenance would receive
what Carter describes as a needed upgrade.

Carter says it is a priority of the city council to make sure
all citizens benefit from the improvements.

“Make sure that everyone in the community has the amenities that
they seek and that really make this a great place to live; make sure they have
those near their homes.”

If the local economy picks up over the next 10 years, the tax
increase could bring in more than $50 million. But Carter says committee
members were asked to prioritize projects that would fit the $50 million budget.

“So, the committee was asked to identify those $50 million in
projects that would almost certainly be completed, but also identify additional
projects that would be completed with funds in excess of $50 million.”

A list of proposed parks improvements is below.

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