ST. CLOUD (WJON NEWS) -- You should start seeing some park improvements already this summer after St. Cloud voters passed a ballot question back in November. The question passed overwhelmingly with 65 percent voting yes and 35 percent voting no.

Mayor Dave Kleis says the additional property tax won't actually start being collected until 2024, but the city plans to bond for it now so they can do the projects over the next three years, and then pay off the bond over a 20-year span.

Kleis says the city has identified over $80 million worth of potential park projects, but the tax levy collects just $20 million, so they will have to pick and choose which ones to do.

He says 20 percent will go to needed maintenance and another 19 percent will go to renovations.

Let's say there's a wading pool that's just not popular, we could put a splash pad there.  Or, it could be a tennis court that we could maybe make into a pickle ball court.

Kleis says about 13.5 percent of the money will be used to leverage private partnerships where the city will put in two dollars for every one dollar a community organization contributes.

Kleis says the city plans to accelerate some of the projects already in the Capital Improvement Plan for this summer, which will be about $2 million in projects, and then the bulk of the remaining $18 million will be spent in 2024 and 2025.

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If you have a specific park or project that you want to have improvements made you can reach out to the Park and Rec Advisory Committee, your city council member, or the Mayor. The final decisions on which projects make the cut will be made in the coming months.


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