The meeting is at 10 a.m. at the KDL Wyoming Branch located at 3350 Michael Ave. SW. The discussion will center on the May 2 ballot proposal where voters are being asked to allow the city to utilize .16 of its .39 library maintenance millage to put toward some of the $23 million in park needs. The nearly $800,000 per year raised would be use to pay a 15-year bond of $4.4 million. The bond money would be dedicated for park improvements at Ideal, Jackson, Ferrand, and Gezon.
According to Wyoming’s Director of Community Services Rebecca Rynbrandt, the mill levy for the average Wyoming homeowner would be less than $12 a year.
The library maintenance millage is only to maintain the actually facility, Rynbrandt said, adding that what many people do not realize is that the library building is owned by the City of Wyoming. Kent District Library operates the library services and owns the collection. Operations of the library and the collection are funded through a Kent District Library millage, which is a 1.28 mill levy, which covers all 18 branches within the KDL system.
The Kent District Library and the Kent District Library Board are neutral on the subject of Wyoming’s request to transfer some of its library maintenance millage for park improvements, however; KDL Director Lance M. Werner said he and Wyoming Branch Manager Lori Holland have had multiple talks with the city about the proposal and impact to the library.
“We have been repeatedly assured by the City that the Branch will be held harmless and will be supported at the same level it currently is in the future,” Werner said.
The city recently completed more than $650,000 in renovations to the library facility that includes a new roof and the revamping of the former cafe to a public space. Upon review, city staff determined that there would be no major renovation projects needed for the library facility within the next 10 years, Rynbrandt said.
Every five years, the City of Wyoming meets with residents and city staff to review needs at its parks. Through that process, the city has recognized more than $23 million in park improvements. In 1994, Wyoming residents did grant a park millage which for the past 20 years the city has been able to invest and maintain the parks without an increase, Rynbrandt said.
However, within four years the city has had several natural disasters — a 2013 flood, and 2014 and 2016 tornados — which has created a greater need, Rynbrandt said. Highlighting some of those needs is Ideal Park, one of the four parks that would receive funding through the millage proposal. Ideal Park was severally impacted from the 2014 tornado with its playground equipment destroyed. The city was able to remove much of the debris and get the park reopened only to have the 2016 tornado cause more damage.
Jackson Park also was impacted by the tornados but also has a need for better stormwater control along with improved security and safety. Ferrand Park is a small pocket park that has not have any major improvements in a number of years and Gezon Park is surrounded by intense residential growth with the central area of the park needing to be developed.
For more information about the proposal or any the parks, visit WYParks.com.