Written by Arkansas Real Estate
As an office, Steve Fineberg & Associates, refrains from taking any sort of political stance in elections. However, on September 13th the City of Rogers is planning a bond election that will directly impact economic development in our area. We felt that this was a good opportunity to highlight what the bond is, and what it could mean for our region in way of growth and opportunity.
The Rogers/Lowell Chamber of Commerce has provided this information to further answer questions:
When is the election?
Election Day is Tuesday, September 13. Early Voting will begin Tuesday, September 6.
Who can vote in the election?
Anyone registered to vote inside the City of Rogers.
What is the election for?
This election will provide funding so that we can continue making investments in major quality of life, public safety, and infrastructure improvements for Rogers. The city may only use this money to focus on four specific areas:
- roads, sidewalks, drainage and other similar infrastructure;
- public parks, recreational facilities, ball fields, and a water park;
- fire department vehicles and apparatus; and
- police department vehicles and other equipment.
Why was this election called?
The citizens of Rogers have, for decades now, made investments in public priorities that have made Rogers the incredible city that it is today. Rogers was recently named one of the 10 best small cities to live in by CNN.
Building on the momentum and expanding on the accomplishments that we have made as a city is important, and voting FOR these bond projects will allow us to do just that.
Our police and fire facilities, new land and improvements for our city parks, and much of our street, sidewalk and drainage infrastructure were made possible by investments that were made starting 20 years ago.
The vision of our leaders and the ability to create the needed infrastructure has helped to produce more than $1 billion of capital investment in and around the Promenade, bringing hundreds of jobs and attracting families to our city.
What is included in the election for infrastructure?
Due to tremendous growth that Rogers has seen in recent years, our city streets, sidewalks drainage and other infrastructure are in need of improvements to handle that growth and to prepare for our future.
To attract new jobs and private investment in Rogers we must ensure that our infrastructure is “ready for business.”
These improvements will allow for better access to our neighborhoods and sidewalks for our kids to play on.
Some examples of specific infrastructure projects for improvement include:
· 1st Street – widening, adding a turn lane and adding sidewalks
· 21st Street – adding drainage, curbs, and sidewalks
· Bellview Road South – improving turn lanes, intersections and adding sidewalks
· Bellview Road North – adding turn lanes and adding sidewalks
· Monte NE & 1st Street – connecting both streets to ensure better access
· Perry Road – widening to four lanes
· Pleasant Grove Road - widen
What is included in the election for parks and recreation?
Parks have been an area of investment from the bond election almost 10 years ago. Providing ample green space, ball fields, playgrounds, the Senior Center, and other recreational areas have played a large part in our city’s growth.
Some specific examples of park construction and improvement include:
· Veterans Park – constructing a moving tribute to our local heroes who have served in the military
· Lake Atalanta – modernize and improve the safety of the facilities to return the Lake to a gathering place for Rogers’ families.
· Rogers Sports Park – fulfilling the vision of previous investments, the park will include Championship soccer/football fields, Championship softball/baseball fields, playgrounds and fishing ponds. The park will connect in with Rogers city trail system.
· Rogers Aquatics Park – building an exciting water park for kids and families to use with water slides, a lazy river, toddler play area, and a 25 meter swimming pool, with room for expansion and growth of the park in the future. The park will connect in with Rogers city trail system.
What is included in the election for our Fire Department?
This election will expand on the investments that we have made in public safety, providing funding for Fire Department vehicles and apparatus. This will ensure that our Fire Department is able to protect all of our neighborhoods as our community continues to expand.
These improvements give us the best possible opportunity to protect or even lower our ISO rating to keep homeowners insurance rates from going higher.
What is included in the election for our Police Department?
This election will expand on the investments that we have made in public safety, providing funding for Police Department facility upgrades, equipment, and other needs. Our city continues to grow as more people come to realize what we already know, Rogers is a great place to live and raise a family. We must ensure our police department has the resources, facilities and equipment to keep our city safe and protect all of our neighborhoods as our community continues to expand.
Will this raise our taxes?
No. The city’s tax rate will not go up at all. This only continues the investment that our community has made over the past 20 years.
What all is on the ballot?
There will be five separate votes on the ballot. All five of these votes work together to keep Rogers moving forward:
· The first vote is a housekeeping vote to pay off the small remainder of previous bond funding that provided for numerous projects in the city.
· Street Improvement bonds will provide $102 Million for street, sidewalks, drainage and other infrastructure needs in the city.
· Park and Recreational Improvement bonds will provide $26.8 Million for park improvements as well as new ball field and water park construction.
· Fire Department Facilities bonds will provide $4.6 Million for vehicle replacement and other upgrades for our firefighters.
· Police Department Facilities bonds will provide $2 Million for police facilities, equipment and other public safety needs.
What accountability measures are included in this election?
The Rogers City Council and Mayor Hines have made it a point to include Rogers’ citizens in the planning and use of this revenue to improve the quality of life and public safety of our city.
Any revenue collected may only be used for repayment of the bonds.
If the bond issue passes, it will be a component in getting new businesses to come to this area because of the roads, the parks, the infrastructure, and the added amenities when the economy turns around.
The end game is to get more businesses to come to Northwest Arkansas, and the pitch is “look at our schools, look at our roads, and look at the economy that you can move into."
The most important thing is to vote. In local government every vote counts, and can make a difference to our community,” Steve Fineberg.