Ballot Breakdown: Prop 1

Asks for a five-year extension on a parks sales tax
Sunday, November 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The extension would prevent the March 31 expiration of a one-eighth-cent sales tax for parks.

Proposition 1, if approved, would generate about $12 million between now and 2010. The city would spend the money to make renovations and improvements to existing parks, to acquire and develop new parks and to develop more trails and greenbelts, all in accordance with the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Voters in November 2000 approved a quarter-cent sales tax for parks with the understanding that half of that would expire in 2006. Proceeds of the parks tax thus far have been used to acquire and develop Stephens Lake Park, to improve roads and parking in Cosmopolitan Park and to improve parking lots and playgrounds elsewhere.

The city has said it would earmark $4.43 million of the anticipated proceeds from Proposition 1 to renovate and improve existing parks. Planned projects include fixing up restrooms and shelters in several parks; adding or renovating tennis courts at Cosmo, Cosmo-Bethel, Rock Quarry and Fairview parks; developing youth athletic fields; adding restrooms along the MKT Nature/Fitness Trail; and beginning the first phase of development on a new regional park surrounding Bristol Lake on the Philips property.

The city would spend another $4 million to acquire land and develop trails and greenbelts. Planned projects would include a Hominy Branch Trail connecting Stephens Lake Park to Woodridge Park on Berrywood Drive; a Scotts Branch Trail that would connect the Russell property in west Columbia to the MKT trail; and an extension of the Hinkson Trail.

The city also plans to spend $1.5 million on land for new parks; $1.3 million for miscellaneous parks work, including joint projects with schools and improvements to roads and parking lots; and $750,000 to improve and add several neighborhood parks.

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