Woodbury City Council to vote on Bielenberg Sports Center financingWoodbury residents may have wondered why the City Council is not seeking a referendum to expand the Bielenberg Sports Center. After all, that’s the approach taken to build the dome and hockey arenas in the first place.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
Woodbury residents may have wondered why the City Council is not seeking a referendum to expand the Bielenberg Sports Center. After all, that was the approach taken to build the dome and hockey arenas in the first place.
But because the city is able to finance the $21.8 million project with the sale of tax abatement bonds and pay back the funds without raising taxes, no referendum is necessary.
City officials are set to take a vote on three major aspects of the project this Wednesday.
City Council will vote at Wednesday's meeting to issue the bonds, approve the site and building plans and whether to solicit construction bids for March.
The Bielenberg Sports Center dome and field house, which opened in 1995, was funded through a referendum that was approved in 1994.
Four years later in 1998, the city sought the open space referendum to help with more expenses at the center.
The bonds issued via the 1994 referendum will be paid off in 2015, while the open space referendum will be paid off in 2019.
Through the tax abatement process, the city will reallocate the levies to fund the expansion project.
So basically instead of taxes going down after the debt expires, they will stay the same, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said.
“That’s the main source,” of funding, he said. “There are also additional funds from city reserves that are being utilized as well.”
About $16.8 million in tax abatement bonds will help fund the project, while the remaining will come from various city reserves.
The City Council is expected to award bids in March, begin construction in April and complete and open the center by next February or March.