Fire Station and Library Projects Bond Referendum
Special City Election Vote May 2, 2017
Polls are open 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Ankeny residents will have the opportunity to vote on May 2 in a special city election on the issuance of bonds to help fund a new fire station and a new library. The bonds will also support repurposing the existing Kirkendall Public Library building into office space for City staff, which allows the City to vacate leased space and apply funds for lease payments towards the debt service costs.
There will be two questions on the ballot and voters will decide on these questions separately. Voters can vote for both, oppose both or support one and oppose the other. Bond questions will read as follows:
“Shall the City of Ankeny, Iowa, issue its bonds in an amount not exceeding the amount of $2,550,000 for the purposes of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing a new fire station?”
“Shall the City of Ankeny, Iowa, issue its bonds in an amount not exceeding the amount of $8,500,000 for the purposes of designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing a new library; and renovating, equipping and furnishing the existing Kirkendall Public Library and associated parking lot?”
By voting yes for the bond referendum, residents are giving the city permission to borrow funds for each project. Taxes will not go up if the referendums are approved.
By voting no, residents are not giving the city permission to borrow funds for each project. Taxes will not go down if the referendums are not approved.
In order for the referendums to pass, questions must receive a 60 percent plus one approval.
The bond referendum will not require a tax increase. A funding plan is in place and taxes will not be affected.
There is a dedicated funding source for the repayment of the bonds. Repayment of the bonds will not compete with other funding projects.
What you should know:
- This is a tax neutral plan. Taxes will not go up if the referendum passes or down if it fails.
- The bond projects support the needs of Ankeny's growing community.
- The bond projects align with the priorities and preferences shared by residents in the following surveys:
- 2015 Citizen Survey
- 2015 Library Survey
- Ankeny 2040 Plan Community Survey
- 2015 Facility Needs Study identified the need for new, larger library and repurposing of the Kirkendall facility.
The new fire station will be funded with the $2.55 million in bond proceeds and $2.65 million from the Capital Reserve Fund. Total cost for this project is $5.2 million.
- Funding covers designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing the new fire station.
The new library, council chambers and repurposing the Kirkendall Public Library building will be funded with $8.5 million of bond proceeds (of which $3.05 million will be repaid with current lease payments), $5 million from the Capital Projects Reserve Fund and $11.5 million from the Civic Trust Fund. Total cost for these projects is $25 million.
- Funding covers designing, constructing, equipping and furnishing the new library with council chambers as well as renovating, furnishing and equipping the Kirkendall Library and its associated parking lot.
What is a bond referendum?
A bond referendum is a process whereby the voters of a governmental unit are given the opportunity to approve or disapprove a proposed new issue of municipal securities. An election is most commonly required in connection with general obligation credit bonds.
By voting yes for the bond referendum voters are giving the city permission to borrow funds for these projects. By voting no voters are not giving the city permission to borrow funds for these projects.
What is a general obligation bond?
A general obligation (G.O.) bond is long-term borrowing in which the city pledges its full faith and credit (taxing power) to repay the debt over a specified term.
How can these projects be completed without raising taxes?
The City has been planning for these projects for several years. The 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Program and financing plan include borrowing $2.55 million for Fire Station No. 3 and $8.5 million for the library projects. Of which, $3.05 million will be repaid with current lease payments from the Parks & Recreation Office and Public Services Buildings.
Strong taxable valuation growth, refinancing opportunities, prior financial planning for these large one-time projects and the availability of Civic Trust funds will allow the City to construct these facilities, if approved, without a tax rate increase.