UH to put park bond issue on November ballot
University Heights City Council passed Resolution 2014-12 at its July 14 meeting, which will enable voters to determine whether the city can issue $1.8 million in bonds to improve the city’s parks and recreation facilities. The bond issue would fund construction and equipment for a new park and related improvements on the site of the former Fuchs Mizrachi School, bordered by Fenwick and Saybrook roads. Councilman Mark Wiseman cast the only dissenting vote.
Council approved the ballot language at a special city council meeting on July 28 so that the issue could be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot. The vote was 5-1, with Wiseman again voting no. Councilwoman Adele Zucker was absent. The deadline for council to send the bond issue to the board of elections is Aug. 6.
Mayor Susan Infeld has compared the costs associated with the new park to the cost of building the Purvis Park pool 20 years ago. That bond issue, which added $25 in property tax for each $100,000 in home valuation, will be paid off in December 2014.
Infeld said the terms of the proposed $1.8 million park bond issue “would be for 15 years and would cost a homeowner the same $25 per $100,000 valuation that they paid for the construction of the pool and playground at Purvis Park.” The new bond issue thus would maintain the city’s current tax level by essentially extending the expiring property tax previously used to fund Purvis Park.
The city has held discussions with residents about a park on the Fuchs Mizrachi site since 2012 when it purchased the property for $600,000. The city formed a citizens committee to help determine its use and paid approximately $230,000 for building demolition and asbestos abatement.
Braun & Steidl architects created preliminary plans and sketches for the park, which are posted on the city’s website at www.universityheights.com.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.