2016 Proposed Bond Issue Community Input Process

Citizen guidance and insight has been the most important part of the potential 2016 bond issue process for over four years. We welcome additional feedback and input; please email elections@apexprd.org if you have comments or questions about the projects or the input process. For info on ‘Ballot Issue A’ please visit apexprd.org/bond.

Reconvening of the Vision 2020 Committee in 2012

The 2012 Vision 2020 citizen committee began meeting in January 2012 with the defined purpose to review the current status of the District’s Master Plan, completed projects since the 2005 Vision 2020 meetings and proposed repair and renovation projects for existing facilities. Committee members came from all sectors within the District; many had participated in the 2005 Vision 2020 group. The basic road map during the 2012 review was based on advice from community members during the past several years. In June the committee presented the Vision 2020 Board Report 2012.

Community Survey

In October 2012, GreenPlay LLC began working with the District to help assess the needs and support for various potential District options, as described in the Vision 2020 report and elsewhere.

GreenPlay led a community survey with National Research Center as a subcontractor. The District created a citizen engagement website, engageapexprd.com, via MindMixer. The results, the Community Needs Assessment Final Report Presentation and MindMixer Report, were presented to the Board of Directors by Apex Park and Recreation District staff and GreenPlay staff at the June 6, 2013 board meeting.

From Page 19 of the Apex Community Needs Assessment

From Page 19 of the Apex Community Needs Assessment

At the May 2, 2013 Board of Directors meeting GreenPlay presented the Written Survey Preliminary Results. As stated in the meeting minutes,

“John Barnholt, Senior Project Consultant with GreenPlay, presented a power point presentation and stated that the findings include demographics, survey and areas of focus. Mr. Barnholt pointed out that the demographic analysis showed that the median age for the District is forecast to be 41.5 in 2017 with the current 55-85+ age group to increase 11% by 2017. Mr. Barnholt added that the response rate for the written survey was 19% which is outstanding. A 10% response is usually a good expectation. The response to questions concerning number of residents using Apex (PRD) facilities, the quality of facilities and programs and the purpose of District offerings were all favorable. Also, the questions concerning support for capital projects and willingness to continue a mil levy had strong support, willingness to increase a mil levy showed somewhat of a support. Board discussion ensued concerning the findings.”

Discussion Concerning East Side Recreation Center

Mike Miles, Executive Director, gave a presentation on the proposed East Side Recreation Center at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., and answered questions at the Arvada City Council Meeting on August 12, 2013. The City had not yet completed its study on the governance issue of the Arvada Center. Ultimately, the City Council’s decision was that the Arvada Center site was not a good fit for a recreation center.

Moving Forward

The Board of Directors decided in October 2014 to move forward to plan for a bond renewal election with this updated list of projects identified by the Vision 2020 committee as priorities.

  • The East Side Recreation Center was a high priority, with placement at the Secrest site now that the Arvada Center site was no longer an option. In the 2006 election, the expansion of Secrest Center was defeated. The plan at this time would be for large recreation center with a field house addition and to create a neighborhood park.
  • The Apex Center upgrades would include the remodel of the indoor playground and the addition of an outdoor splash pad and slides adjacent to the pool area.
  • Lutz Sports Complex would include the completion of the second four-field pod with concessions and restrooms. The lighting needs replacing but the new pods would be completed before light replacement.
  • Long Lake Ranch would include the addition of sports fields. Association input indicated support for completion of the original five-field baseball area and a designated football only stadium. Staff suggested to complete the baseball pod and add multi-use turf fields according to the master plan.
  • Arvada Tennis Center renovation would include the re-construction of the existing eight courts to post-tension subsurface and possibly the covering of four courts for year round play. Another consideration would be to add more courts depending on site restrictions.
  • The maintenance building at Indian Tree Golf Club is very old and needs major renovation. The building is built in a horseshoe shape, and covering the existing open area in the center would provide much needed additional storage space for equipment, as well as an expanded work area, during the winter months.

Mr. Miles proposed that public meetings should begin in early to mid-2015 to gather input on these projects, during which time the City of Arvada would also be working on its parks master plan, allowing for the possibility of joint public meetings. These meetings would include invitations to the original Vision 2020 committee members. Their input, along with public session opportunities for input, would help develop a solid plan for moving forward toward an election.

Meyers Pool Support BeamsMeyers Pool

In September of 2012, significant problems were discovered along the south wall of Meyers Pool. Saunders Construction opened five sections of the exterior wall and found two other sections had similar deterioration to the worst beams on the north wall. JVA Engineers completed a design to shore up all of the columns and Meyers Pool re-opened in early December.

Engineers have told us that the pool’s expected lifespan is until 2024-25. While that seems far in the future, planning to replace such a major asset takes a long time.

The primary challenge is that replacing a 50-meter pool such as Meyers would cost $28-$30 million in 2016 dollars. That cost is about the same as the total amount for all six projects listed on the May 3 ballot proposing the renewal of the existing Apex PRD bond.

Another issue is that Meyers Pool is actually owned by the City of Arvada, so it is their asset to plan for and replace. Apex PRD simply operates the pool under an agreement with the City. However, because it is such an important community asset, Apex PRD, the City of Arvada, and Jeffco Public Schools (the school district is a stakeholder, as many of its high school swim teams use the pool for practice and competition) are already in conversations about how a three-way partnership could get the pool replaced.

A shared coordinating committee made up of representatives from the City of Arvada and Apex PRD meets quarterly to brainstorm ideas about how to meet this funding need, and all parties are trying to find a creative, proactive path to replacement.

Public Input Meetings

January 2015 Community Input Meeting

January 2015 Community Input Meeting

Apex Park and Recreation District hosted a series of public meetings to gather public input on elements of the District’s community recreation master plan. Also on the table for discussion was the strategy to finance these projects by extending the District’s current $25 million revenue bond, approved by voters in 1998 to finance the Apex Center and several other projects. The bond will expire in 2017. If voters chose to extend it, the action would not incur any new taxes. The meetings were held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at the Apex Center, 6:30 pm and Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Community Recreation Center, 6:30 pm. The meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at the Apex Field House was cancelled due to the weather.

The meetings opened with a synopsis of the District’s master plan and the community’s role in supporting recreation from Mr. Miles and District staff. The attendees then broke into groups of 8-10 people and discussed the issues important to them. After the breakout sessions, the whole group reconvened and listened to the results, presented by a spokesperson from each table.

March 2015 Community Input Meeting

March 2015 Community Input Meeting

The January 29 meeting at the Apex Center in the Randall Room hosted about 50 people. At the March 26 meeting, a large, energetic group of around 130 people represented many interests and all areas of Arvada.

The results of the public input meetings were used to prioritize the projects on the master plan and affirm the direction of the District.

2016 Election Projects

2016 Bond Issue Project Map

2016 Bond Issue Project Map

At the September 3, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, Mr. Miles presented the culmination of the Vision 2020 Master Plan and the public input meetings. After reviewing the information from Mr. Miles, the Board of Directors proposed the 2016 election projects include Secrest Center, Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool, Arvada Tennis Center, Lutz Sports Complex, Apex Center renovations/additions, and Long Lake Ranch Regional Park.

  • The Secrest Center project would include the construction of a replacement recreation center with a small weight room, community/aerobics area, teen center, small gym, locker rooms, and therapy pool. The existing outdoor pool and inline hockey rink would remain.
  • The Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool would include a neighborhood recreation center with small weight room and community/aerobics area, and a six lane outdoor pool.
  • The Arvada Tennis Center project would include four indoor courts in a building similar to the Apex Field House, eight renovated outdoor courts with new fencing, new lighting and a larger parking lot.
  • Lutz Sports Complex project would be a renovation of the west fields into a new four field pod with a restroom/concession building between the two pods.
  • The Apex Center renovation and addition would include the renovation of the indoor playground and indoor aquatics area, and the construction of an outdoor splash pad.
  • The Long Lake Ranch project would add two baseball fields to complete a five field pod, two synthetic turf fields, a restroom/concession building and improved parking lot with lights.

The total project cost is approximately $28.25 million. If voters approve the extension of the existing bond, the District would receive $25 million and the City has allocated $3.1 million to put towards the Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool. The remainder would come from the District’s general fund.

At the September 17, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, the board considered the final approval of the proposed election projects that have been presented to the public. Mr. Miles added that City staff and Apex Park and Recreation District representatives had met with school district staff and they were 100% in support of the Fitzmorris project, but it still had to be presented to the JeffCo School Board. The City also needed to review the project with surrounding neighbors. Mr. Miles stated that project revisions could be made later on if the board needed to address this, depending on the status of the Fitzmorris project with the school district and neighbors.

The Fitzmorris Project Input

Fitzmorris Community Input Meeting

Fitzmorris Community Input Meeting

Apex Park and Recreation District and The City of Arvada hosted a public input meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 pm-8 pm in the Fitzmorris Elementary School Gym, 6250 Independence St., Arvada, CO 80004, to continue the conversation about the potential of a new neighborhood recreation center and pool at Fitzmorris Park. The event was attended by about 140 people concerned about the impact on their neighborhood. Apex PRD and the City gave short presentations followed by a ‘sticker exercise’ and an informal Q&A. The participant also had the opportunity to fill out a short survey.

9 Comments on "2016 Proposed Bond Issue Community Input Process"

  • A. Dorn
    January 29, 2016

    1. The proposed new indoor playground at Apex is a monstrosity & scary to some kids, especially younger ones. There is nothing wrong with the existing, which has a friendly & comforting appearance.
    2. All the proposals together come to $28 million, but the bond is only for $25 million. Where is the other 3 million coming from’

    • Rob
      January 29, 2016

      To answer your question, from the article:
      The total project cost is approximately $28.25 million. If voters approve the extension of the existing bond, the District would receive $25 million and the City has allocated $3.1 million to put towards the Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool. The remainder would come from the District’s general fund.

  • Marlane
    February 18, 2016

    How come Meyer’s pool is not included in these proposed improvements, it is a very important facility in the community, and serves many needs in the community.

    • Rob
      February 18, 2016

      As of today, the engineers have told us that the expected life span of the pool is 8-9 years. While that seems like a long time away, we know that planning to replace such a major asset takes a long time.

      The primary issue is that replacement a 50 meter pool will cost approximately $28-$30 million in 2016 dollars. Additionally, complicating the issue is that the pool is actually owned by the City of Arvada, so it is their asset to plan for and replace. Apex PRD simply operates the pool under an agreement with the City.

      Nonetheless, the City and Apex PRD, along with JeffCo schools (they are a stakeholder as many of their high school swim teams use the pool for practice and competition) are already in conversations about how a three-way partnership can get this pool replaced.

      The good news is that there is a shared coordinating committee made up of representatives from the City and Apex PRD that meets quarterly to brainstorm ideas about how to meet this funding need and all parties are trying to be creative to find a solution to replace the pool.

  • robert castaneda
    March 1, 2016

    I am so excited to see potential funding for our tennis facility. My family has been active in tennis for many years. Our children were active in local youth tennis programs and played at Arvada West & Ralston Valley then went on to play in college. With this expansion there is potential to do great outreach for children in the area and expose them to a sport for a life time. I know first hand there is college sports grants that children in our neighborhoods could take advantage of and by starting early it will happen. As a member of the city of Denver’s Mayoral staff I say the importance of Parks and Recreation efforts to improve park facilities. Great and well maintained parks helps to keep our children moving in the right direction

    • Rob
      March 1, 2016

      Thank you for your support!

  • L. Moyers
    April 14, 2016

    I was one of the first tennis monitors when the Arvada Tennis Center opened. I then went on to be an instructor there as well as a boys and girls Varsity Tennis Coach at one of the local high schools. Tennis is a sport that will one can play their entire life time. I know…I have. I’m going into my 45th year of tennis and I’ll continue playing as long as my body allows. To expand this wonderful neighborhood facility will be wonderful, but let make sure the following things are in place:
    1. It’s affordable to all including the indoor courts.
    2. No one group will have a monopoly on the indoor courts. I remember trying to get on the courts during the Arvada West boy’s and girl’s tennis seasons. There are other high schools in the area, but yet Arvada West dominates these courts. That should not happen. Yes, we want the courts used, but no monopolies!
    3. During the winter is imperative to have tennis lessons and “work shops” focusing on specific skills with good instructors. I have to say watching kids stand around during group lessons didn’t happen when I taught. If they were waiting to hit a ball they were doing foot work drills. I hope we have more than just teenage instructors that quite frankly look apathetic when teaching. There have been a few decent teenage instructors, but more miss than hit.

    Onward with construction! This is an exciting time for The Arvada Tennis Center!

  • Kathleen
    April 15, 2016

    RE: The Arvada Press, April 14, 2016, Letters to the Editor, titled Apex Bond is Taxing

    This individual states that “she is paying over $200 a year for Apex”. I am assuming she means it is because of the original bond issue years ago, her property taxes increased and states that they will continue to rise.

    I see on my property tax statement for tax year 2015 that I also am paying well over $100 per year for Apex.

    So:

    1. I would like to know from you if the bond renewal will affect the line item APEX PARK & REC DIST on my property tax bill?
    An honest reply would be appreciated.

    2. What am I paying for in the line item APEX PARK & REC DIST ON my property taxes bill.

    Thank You

    • Rob
      April 15, 2016

      Kathleen,
      Another great couple of questions.

      1) A renewal will not affect the Apex PRD property tax any differently than in the past 19 years. The original rate of the 1997 bonds was 3.3 mills and has DECREASED over time to where it is now at 1.412 mills, indicative of the increase in number of properties in the District, and increase in property values paying toward the debt service. The mil rate has to be adjusted to meet the exact payment due to the bond holders. No more, no less can be charged to property owners in the District. In the PDF linked below is a bar chart of the original Apex bond mil. It shows you graphically what is meant by the ballot language. It did rise slightly after property values dropped in the midst of the mortgage crash of 2008. Assessed property values vary, but do not have near the volatility that one might think.

      2) The current total Apex PRD property tax is currently 4.881 mills. Of that, 1.412 is the bond. To calculate how much your own property taxes would be, take your own home’s “actual value” from your property tax statement, and then take 7.96% of that (the residential assessment rate set by the State Legislature) and then multiply that number by 1.412 mills divided by 1000. In the example you provided, to pay $200 a year = $515,000 home value x 7.96% x 4.881 / 1000

      http://apexprd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Questions-on-ballot-financing.pdf

      More info and Apex PRD Ballot Issue ‘A’ FAQ can be found at http://apexprd.org/bond

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