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home : current news : current news January 22, 2018

12/19/2017 1:15:00 PM
SPRD to seek local option funding
SPRD board member Jeff Campbell announced last week that he is resigning from the board to focus on helping the District pass a five-year local option levy to improve SPRDís funding and program offerings. photo by Cody Rheault
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SPRD board member Jeff Campbell announced last week that he is resigning from the board to focus on helping the District pass a five-year local option levy to improve SPRDís funding and program offerings.

photo by Cody Rheault

By Cody Rheault

Sisters Parks & Recreation District (SPRD) will seek a new local option tax levy to augment its funding.

SPRD board members met on Tuesday, December 12, to discuss a 15-cent levy, which would provide SPRD with additional funds for more programs.

Since the founding of the District 20 years ago, the tax rate for Sisters residents has remained at 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, without increase. The proposed levy would raise the tax rate an additional 15 cents per $1,000, increasing it to 37 cents per $1,000.

If passed, the tax levy would provide the opportunity to fund new programs, increase after-school access to youth recreation programs and expand fitness, wellness, and outdoor programs for adults. Additional funds would also assist with the support of community events such as the Kids Appreciation Day, annual lacrosse and basketball tournaments, and Glory Daze Car Show; the Sisters Folk Festival and Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show would also benefit from continued and expanded support from SPRD.

Over $270,000 of deferred maintenance would be addressed and the retainment of experienced staff would also continue with the passing of the new levy, according to the board of directors.

Should the vote pass, program fees for all participants would be reduced and provide a 50 percent cut in after-school program fees. Families who may need financial assistance to participate would also benefit from lowered costs.

If the levy should fail, maintenance would remain postponed, program fees would increase, and some programs would likely be eliminated, the board reports.

The proposed levy will be announced early next year, and local Sisters residents will have the opportunity to vote for the local option in May 2018. The proposed tax levy would span five years and take effect on July 1, 2019.

Board member Jeff Campbell announced his resignation at the meeting in order to help the District pass the levy. Campbell has served on the Board since 2009. Campbell said he is leaving the board to focus on campaigning in support of the new tax levy, and create the momentum to help it pass.

He expressed his appreciation to the community and fellow Board members during his time serving. In an official letter, he offered his sincere apology to the Board and the community for not completing his full term.

"I will continue to support the SPRD Board, Staff and District to the best of my abilities leading up to and beyond May of 2018," he wrote in his resignation letter. "As this is an effort that cannot be done alone, I plan to call upon all demographics in our community to help spread the message and demonstrate to voters the value of a 'yes.'"

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