By Gus Pearcy
To take advantage of lower interest rates and speed up plans to upgrade facilities, the Brownsburg Park Board took the first step to borrowing up to $5 million.
At a special meeting Oct. 4, the board took the first step to issue a park district bond. The parks department is looking to finish up several long-standing projects that have been planned, in some cases, for more than five years.
Parks Department Director Travis Tranbarger said the projects would have a pretty big impact on the various park user groups in the community. As part of the overall master plan, Tranbearger said these capital projects were the results of various public input surveys and focus groups.
The projects include improvements at Stephens Park, just off William Drive near downtown, for improved parking, a restroom, playground equipment and building additional pickleball courts. The White Lick Greenway project is phase one of a trail from W. Northfield Drive to Arbuckle Acres near the White Lick Creek.
The bond would also develop the Magee property near the B&O Trail east of C.R. 900 E. and C.R. 300 N. The plans are for a new trail head with parking for 30 cars and a restroom facility.
Finally, Tranbarger is looking to speed up phase II and III at Cardinal Park.
Phase II, which is already underway, will result in the dog park and a new restroom to open next spring. The bond proceeds would allow for the parks to recoup planning and design fees already spent.
The cost for these projects is about $4.6 million. There are also some fees for the bond issue which is why the board approved the bond for no more than $5 million.
There would be no effect on the town’s tax rate, Tranbarger told the board.
The park department hopes to have a decision within the next few weeks.
“Oftentimes, bond issues like this have to come after the fiscal year budget… is established,” Tranbarger said. “There’s a tight timeline to get the bond issued by the end of the year.”
The park board voted to approve the bond issue on its first reading. There is a public hearing notice scheduled for Oct. 22. The Brownsburg Town Council must also approve the bond issue. If the issue is approved, the projects would proceed throughout 2020.