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Vote “For” the 2018 Rogers Bond Issue

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Tuesday, August 7, 2018
August is an important month for the future of the City of Rogers. Our citizens will decide the way forward for development and improvement projects (identified in the 2018 Rogers Bond Issue) in a special election August 14. Citizens will vote on extending an existing one-cent sales tax. This sales tax will allow the City of Rogers to raise money for improvements through a bond issue. The first question on the ballot asks voters to approve the sales tax extension and this must pass for any of the following projects identified to proceed. Streets, City Parks & Public Safety Ensure Continued Growth The 2018 Bond Issue focuses primarily on city street improvements, city parks, and public safety facilities. Funding of these measures will help to ensure that Rogers’ continued growth is on pace and/or ahead of the rest of the Northwest Arkansas region. Extending the sales tax will allow the City of Rogers to raise approximately $240 million for critical improvements through this new 2018 Bond Issue. Approximately $178 million would be used to fund street improvements, $41 million would go to city parks, $9.5 million to the fire department, $11.5 million to the police department, and $60 million to pay off the 2011 bond’s balance, bringing the 2018 Bond Issue to $300 million. Streets 74 percent of the funds raised through the Bond Issue will be designated to improve city streets. Recently, a city-wide infrastructure study was completed and provided city staff a better understanding of what our transportation system looks like today and critical improvements needed. The study also helped city staff to take a glimpse several decades into the future and anticipate future street projects. Transportation needs identified from the infrastructure study and 2018 Bond Issue projects are addressed and included in the updated Master Street Plan, adopted by the Rogers City Council in April. Voter-approved funding would enable improvement of our city’s existing transportation network by establishing a “street grid” on the west side of town and improving connectivity to isolated areas. Proposed projects will create alternate routes for drivers and additional overpasses on I-49. These new routes will shorten commute times for workers, shoppers, and drivers throughout the city and decrease traffic congestion on major east/west routes. “For three decades we have dramatically built and improved the quality of life in Rogers because our citizens are willing to step up and be counted when it matters most. Our world- class community makes it possible to have world-class companies that recruit world-class people. Rogers is the finest city in America and a yes vote keeps us that way! Keep Rogers moving forward and vote ‘for’ the future starting August 7 to support all of the opportunities on the ballot.” – Raymond Burns, President/CEO, Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce. City Parks $41 million of the 2018 Bond Issue will be directed toward improvement and construction of city parks for both our citizens and visitors to enjoy. The renovation of two long-time parks and the construction of a new park on the west side of town top the project list. A redesign of Frisco Park in Downtown (currently in the planning phase) is also on the list. The Bond Issue will help pay for renovations as part of efforts to continue the revitalization of our Historic Downtown. Northwest Park, Rogers’ oldest sports park, is also slated for a major overhaul and upgrade. Opened in the 1970’s, Northwest Park plays host to thousands of games each year. The conceptual design for the new park includes improved baseball fields, updated concessions, new pavilions, an indoor batting cage, playground renovations, trails, and open spaces for players and their families to enjoy together. The new Mt. Hebron Park will be the first major city park located west of I-49 and will allow residents to enjoy nature in a variety of ways. The conceptual design includes trails, tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball courts, a baseball field, soccer fields, splash pad/ice skating rink, accessible playground, pavilions, and a large meeting hall spread out over 70+ acres located just off Mt. Hebron Rd. The 2018 Bond Issue will also fund improvement at other parks throughout the city including an additional restroom facility at Veterans Park, relocation of the maintenance facility, and necessary improvements to various other parks and trailheads around the city. Public Safety Facilities The 2018 Bond Issue will play a vital role in improving public safety facilities for both the Rogers Police Department (RPD) and Fire Department (RFD). The RPD will be able to create a new 14,000- square-foot emergency dispatch center that will improve response times to emergencies and ensurethe center stays in operation during extreme weather. This much-needed addition to the current complex includes the dispatch center, a multi-purpose room for tactical training, a second training room, offices, a garage, and support facilities. These improvements for our city’s public safety teams will help our brave officers and first responders keep our citizens protected and safe. The RFD will use funds from the 2018 Bond Issue to build a new fire station, update the training center, and add equipment to the fire department fleet. The new Fire Station #8 will be strategically located along West Pleasant Grove Road between Rainbow Road and Hwy. 112 to provide better fire and EMS coverage in that area of our city, as well as additional support for west Rogers. Training center improvements will provide better functionality and increased opportunities for training courses in fire, emergency medicine, hazardous materials, and technical rescue. A new burn building will provide a controlled environment to conduct live fire training, allowing firefighters to learn in a “safe” environment. Apparatus replacement will allow Rogers to maintain an adequate front line and reserve fleet which is essential for maintaining a Class One insurance rating that can reduce insurance rates for home and business owners. Another important benefit from the 2018 Bond Issue will be the purchase of a new communications system for our 911 dispatch called The Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN). AWIN provides statewide operations within the coverage area and offers the ability to coordinate communications with other agencies or jurisdictions. State-of-the-art communications systems reduce response time in emergencies and keep our citizens better protected. Refinancing Bond Debt The rest of the 2018 Bond Issue will enable the City of Rogers to refinance and pay off the existing debt from the 2011 Bond Issue. By refinancing in 2018, the City hopes to take advantage of lower interest rates that likely will not be available in the future. Lower interest rates will allow more money to be spent on projects, maximizing the impact of the bond. Vote “For” the Future The City of Rogers is a vibrant, growing community and an ideal place to live, work, and play. To continue our momentum and better prepare us for the future, we must anticipate our growth, plan development needs and manage improvement projects to completion. Rogers Mayor Greg Hines has called on citizens to support the 2018 Bond Issue, saying, “This is our City, and this is our chance to bring Rogers to the forefront in the region. These improvements will foster responsible growth, while maintaining the quality of life that we’ve come to expect in Northwest Arkansas. We’re asking Rogers citizens to help us keep Rogers the city ‘Where Possible Lives’ by voting ‘for’ the 2018 Bond Issue.” You may vote on August 14 at a polling location or vote early beginning August 7 at the County Clerk’s Offices in Rogers. Vote “for” the future of Rogers, “Where Possible Lives” and “Excellence Continues.”

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