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Ballot question seeks funds to repair city facilities

Boulder City residents will soon determine whether the city can spend up to $1 million per year indefinitely from the capital improvement fund to improve city facilities.

The question, the lone one on this year’s ballot, is similar to a 2006 ballot question that asked voters whether the city could spend up to $500,000 per year for three years from the capital improvement fund to repair city facilities.

That question passed by a 4,129-2,499 vote. The funds were used to remodel several City Hall offices, refurbish the outside of the building, and provided new roofs for several city buildings among other repairs.

All expenditures from the capital improvement fund must be made with voter approval, as per the city charter.

“There have been so many capital needs that had been delayed or ignored when there was a downturn in the economy,” City Clerk Lorene Krumm said. “There was no way that we had the funds to be able to catch up and complete the capital projects just with money from the general fund or utility fund.”

The city now pays for its portion of the third intake pipe at Lake Mead through the capital improvement fund. Though the loan is expected to be paid off by fiscal 2017, the tied-up funds have made it difficult to address other needs.

“We really haven’t had any money in that fund for several years,” Krumm said.

Twenty percent of solar lease revenue and 100 percent of land sales make up the capital improvement fund. In the November election, voters approved two ballot questions that also would help improve the city’s electrical infrastructure.

One question authorized the city to spend as much as $500,000 per year from the capital improvement fund to repair the city’s outdated electrical infrastructure. The money will be spent for the next seven years, as per the ballot question.

Improvements and repairs for city facilities will cost $34.4 million, including the possibility of a new $18 million aquatic center, according to staff reports.

Councilman Cam Walker has championed building a new pool since he came into office in 2009. He said the city can start borrowing against its revenue stream now that the debt is being paid off and a fourth source of solar lease revenue is in the works.

“The City Council has shown that we have paid down all the debt, and now that we have it under control, it’s time to look at some of the things we can provide our community,” Walker said. “We don’t want to grow our government, we want to improve our quality of life in Boulder City.”

Walker said a ballot question that would authorize the city to borrow up to $18 million for a new pool would be on the ballot no later than 2017.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

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