City of Kearney, MO

Proposed Kearney Recreation Center With Indoor Aquatics



Amenities include a therapy pool, diving boards, competition lap pool, shallow water family area
with zero-depth entry, gymnasium, elevated track, fitness floor and group exercise studio. 


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*Bird's-eye view of interior floor plan

Located at the southwest corner of 19th & Jefferson (State Route 33) on the 11 acre parcel that is owned by the city of Kearney.
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Click here for April 2, 2024 Official Ballot Language

Click here to see the project background (How we got where we are today)

Kearney Recreation Center With Indoor Aquatics Frequently Asked Questions

What language will I see on the April 2, 2024 ballot?
Kearney voters will consider two (2) questions on April 2, 2024.  Both questions must be approved to make a recreation center with indoor aquatics a reality in Kearney.

KEARNEY QUESTION 1

Shall the City of Kearney, Missouri issue its general obligation bonds in the amount not to exceed $28,000,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, furnishing, and equipping an aquatic and recreation center and related improvements?  

KEARNEY QUESTION 2

Shall the City of Kearney, Missouri be authorized to impose a sales tax for park purposes of one-half of one percent for the purpose of providing funds to acquire, construct, improve, furnish, equip, operate, and maintain local park facilities, including without limitation an aquatic and recreation center, and the payment of debt service of financing obligations issued to provide funds for local park facilities?

Why do BOTH questions have to pass to make a recreation center with aquatics in Kearney a reality?

The $28 million of General Obligation Bonds are required to fund the cost of engineering and constructing the recreation center with indoor aquatics. The half-cent park sales tax is required to help pay for the annual operating costs of a recreation center with indoor aquatics and will also be used to repay debt on an additional $3 million of capital costs

The General Obligation Bonds will require Kearney residents to pay $0.52 per $100 of assessed valuation on property, called a property tax levy.  Additionally, the half-cent park sales tax on retail sales in Kearney will also be used to help repay the General Obligation Bonds.

To understand how a property tax levy would impact you, please see the table below. 

What are General Obligation Bonds?

General Obligation Bonds are a form of debt financing secured by property tax revenues and must be specifically authorized by voters. General obligation bonds can be issued for general purpose projects. Cities in Missouri are authorized to issue general obligation bonds pursuant to Article VI, Section 26(b), (c), (d) and (e) of the Missouri Constitution and Sections 95.115 to 95.130, RSMo.

How many years until the General Obligation Bonds for the recreation center with indoor aquatics are repaid?
The General Obligation Bonds will be repaid over twenty (20) years.
What percentage of yes votes is required for approval of  Kearney Question 1 (General Obligation Bonds)?

Missouri state law requires General Obligation Bonds  to receive a 4/7 super majority of yes votes, or 57.14%, to be approved at a general municipal election.

What happens if Kearney Question 1 (bonds) is approved by voters and Kearney Question 2 (sales tax) isn't?

If Kearney Question 1 receives at least 57.14% of the yes vote and Kearney Question 2 does not receive at least 50.01% of the yes vote, a recreation center with indoor aquatics will not be built in Kearney. 

What will the $28 million of General Obligation Bonds be used for?

The total capital costs of this project are projected at $31 million.  General Obligation Bonds are required to fund the bulk ($28 million) of the cost of engineering and constructing the recreation center with indoor aquatics.

How will the $28 million of General Obligation Bonds be repaid?

The $28 million of General Obligation Bonds will be repaid by Kearney residents paying a $0.52 per $100 of assessed valuation on property, called a property tax levy.  

To understand how a property tax levy would impact you, please see the table below.

 

Why is a half-cent park sales tax required for a recreation center with indoor aquatics in Kearney to become a reality?

A half-cent park sales tax is required to help pay for annual operating costs of a recreation center with indoor aquatics and will also be used to help repay debt on the additional $3 million of capital costs.

How will a half-cent park sales tax impact me?

The cost of a half-cent sales tax is equal to one-half cent on every $1 spent. On a $10 purchase, it is an additional 5 cents. On a $100 purchase, it is an additional 50 cents. On a $200 purchase, it is an additional $1. 

What percentage of yes votes is required for approval of  Kearney Question 2 (Sales Tax)?

Missouri state law requires that a sales tax receive a simple majority of yes votes, or 50.01%, to be approved at a general municipal election.

What happens if Kearney Question 2 (sales tax) is approved by voters and Kearney Question 1 (bonds) isn't?
If Kearney Question 2 receives at least 50.01% of the yes vote and Kearney Question 2 does not receive at least 57.14% of the yes vote, a recreation center with indoor aquatics will not be built in Kearney.  The half-cent park sales tax will go into effect October 1, 2024 and these funds will be legally restricted for only city parks.
Why are voters being asked to consider a recreation center with indoor aquatics instead of an outdoor pool or a smaller project?

City leaders listened to the feedback received from the Kearney community.  

The proposal that voters will consider on April 2, 2024  was the result of a community engagement process that began in April of 2023.  During this process, the community was invited to share their needs and their level of support for a swimming facility in Kearney, through online surveys and community meetings.  

Through the process, the community ultimately indicated their preference for a dry recreation component in addition to swimming, with features and programs that will allow residents from age 1 to 100 opportunities for fitness, recreation and building a stronger sense of community through a community gathering space that is available year round.

You can find out more about the community engagement process by clicking this link.

If approved by Kearney voters, where will the recreation center with indoor aquatics be located?

The recreation center with indoor aquatics will be built at the southwest corner of 19th Street and Jefferson Street (Missouri State Route 33) on the 11 acre parcel that is owned by the city of Kearney.

If approved by Kearney voters, what is the expected timeline for a recreation center with indoor aquatics to become a reality in Kearney?

If both ballot measures pass, engineering for the recreation center with indoor aquatics would begin in summer of 2024.   Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2025 and be completed at the end of 2026.

If approved by Kearney voters, what amenities will the recreation center with indoor aquatics in Kearney include?

Dry Side

  • Gymnasium
    Includes 1 high school basketball court / 2, cross-directional middle school sized courts with opportunities for additional striping
  • Elevated track
    A 350’ long (1/15 of a mile), 3-lane track surrounds the gymnasium to be utilized for walking and running
  • Fitness floor – 3,794 s.f.
    Provides equipment and space for cardio and weight equipment, serving approximately 75 people (similar in size to the Excelsior Springs Community Center fitness floor)
  • Group exercise studio – 1,600 s.f.
    A separate space meant for structured fitness classes lead by an instructor, serving approximately 26 people in a fitness class setting

Pool Side

  • Competition lap pool: 3,600 s.f.
  • Therapy pool: 210 s.f.
  • Depth: Approx. 0’0” – 12’0
  • Shallow-water leisure area with zero-depth entry
  • 6, 25-yard lap lanes
  • 2, 1-meter diving boards
  • Starting blocks
  • Therapy pool with in-water bench
If approved by Kearney voters, what activities will be available at the recreation with indoor aquatics in Kearney?

Dry Side
• Open gym, basketball and other gymnasium activities
• Walking and running on the elevated track
• Self-guided use of fitness equipment
• Private training
• Structured fitness classes
• Rentals and parties
• Teen fun nights
• Camps and kid's activities

Pool Side
• Lap swimming
• Swim and dive team activities
• Leisure and/or family swim time
• Swim and dive lessons
• Warm-water use
• Structured fitness classes

If approved by Kearney voters, will Kearney residents pay discounted user rates to use the recreation center with indoor aquatics?

Kearney residents will receive a 25% discounted rate on annual membership passes and a 50% discounted rate on daily passes. Below are proposed fee schedules.

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Will voters living outside Kearney city limits be able to vote on this proposal?
Voters living outside Kearney city limits will not vote on this proposal.  If Kearney voters approve the proposal, individuals living outside Kearney city limits will not pay the property tax levy, however they will be able to use the facility for a non-resident fee.
When the Shoppes of Kearney was developed, money was to be set aside after TIF payments for the sole purpose of developing a community pool through CID money. Where is that money?
 

1. Cash on hand prior to land purchase: $1.23 Million

2. Aquatic site land purchase (March 2022): $750,000

3. Balance after aquatic site land purchase: $480,000

4. CID revenue from fiscal year 2023: $270,000

5. Cash on hand today: $750,000

6. After TIF obligation payments, CID net revenue of approximately $270,000 per year (this amount could be more or less)

7. CID expires 2043 (if same revenues of approx. $270,000 x 20 years = $5.4 Million)

8. Add #5 and #7 together, equals $6.15 Million. 

Even under the best case scenario with generating CID revenue, it is not enough money to pay for a new swimming facility. It is anticipated that these funds will go towards maintenance inside the CID district or other needs as agreed upon by the City of Kearney and the CID district.