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Aspen Park Bond Issue

By Don Jorgensen
Published: September 24, 2013, 6:00 PM

Aspen Park Bond Issue
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Brandon voters will go to the polls later next month to decide on a $12.5 million bond issue. The city wants to expand Aspen Park, but not everyone is in favor of the idea.

Aspen Park already has nine softball and baseball fields, but the City of Brandon would like to add five to six more on 30 acres south of the park.

"We've got 1,000 to 1,100 kids between softball and baseball in both those programs and right now these fields are used everyday during the summer," city administrator Bryan Read said.

Plus, the plan calls for removing one field and adding paved parking and building new stadium seating to accommodate high school teams.

"Right now our current field, which is field A, is the high school baseball field.  It isn't large enough to handle a Legion Tournament and or high school baseball; it's too small," Read said.

The $12.5 million dollar bond would also make improvements to the city swimming pool, adding capacity for another 200 people.

But will taxpayers think the bond issue is a homerun? One person we talked with doesn't like the idea.

"My biggest concern is I think the city could do a better job of communicating," Brandon resident Scott Rust said.

Rust says there's been very little information put out about the bond issue and how much it would increase property taxes.

"My taxes are going to go up along with everybody else's in the community and you look at a mil levee rate for the city could possibly go up by 70 percent if this passes," Rust said.

The city says on $100,000 of property, taxes would go up by $300 and some feel that's too much to pay for progress.

"I'm not opposed to quality of life enhancements for the city of Brandon.  It's a young community.  I think we need enhancements, but I think this approach is a bit too much," Rust said.

The Aspen Park Task Force will be holding pubic meetings in the coming weeks. The election is set for October 29.

© 2013 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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