Lan-Oak parks officials discuss failed referendum

2013-04-15T23:30:00Z Lan-Oak parks officials discuss failed referendumDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 15, 2013 11:30 pm  • 

LANSING | Lan-Oak Park District held its first meeting Monday since voters rejected a referendum that would have permitted a property tax increase for the district.

The Park District’s referendum asked local voters to approve a 10-cent increase in its property tax levy to raise about $450,000 a year for improvements, including renovations at Bock Park, a new soccer field, shelter repairs or removals, and playground equipment.

District Director John Wilson said removing the swimming pool at Bock Park was a top priority. That project likely would cost more than $1 million and would completed in phases, Wilson said.

"If and when the referendum passes, nothing's going to be done overnight," Wilson said. "It'll have to be phased in."

The referendum failed by only 75 votes with almost 5,000 cast.

"We can look at this as a major victory, even though it didn't pass," board President Mike Gaffney said. "It was monumental task that the committee and all who got involved did to get the information out there, and it showed in that (the vote) got so close."

Park officials discussed trying to find other sources of revenue and cutting spending, like seeking donations, selling the naming rights to some parks and limiting what the district would pay for when commissioners attend seminars and social functions.

The board plans to assemble a committee to seek another referendum in two years.

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