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There is very strong overall support for our network of parks and recreational programs.

Your City Council strongly encourages all Lake Oswego voters to support the $30 million parks bond renewal by voting YES on their May 21 ballots.

The members of the City Council decided to submit the parks bond renewal to our citizens because Lake Oswego's parks and natural areas are so highly used and valued by our residents. We were impressed by the results of the recent parks survey which was conducted by a very experienced survey consultant late last year. The survey indicated that 85% of those contacted would likely support a parks bond renewal. It also showed very strong overall support for our network of parks and recreational programs. And, citizens responded that they want additional parks projects completed.

These new bonds totaling $30 million again will be repaid from property taxes over a 20-year period. The resulting tax rate is estimated to be not more than $0.24 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is the same rate as the current open space and parks bonds which will be paid off over the next three years. It's expected that the newly-approved bonds will be issued in several series, allowing the property tax rates to be maintained at no higher than the current rate.

The uses of these new bonds will be limited to:

— Acquisition of new park property (natural open space or parks land for both active and passive recreation)

— Renovation and replacement of parks improvements and facilities

— Development of new park and recreation improvements and facilities

There are a number of potential projects. The specific projects will be guided by the City's current and future parks capital improvement plans with substantial input from the public and also from the Parks Board.

This parks bond renewal is a generational opportunity to further develop and expand Lake Oswego's outstanding parks system. And, bonds are the main source of money to do so.

The county will be mailing ballots to voters next week.

Please join us in voting YES for Lake Oswego's Parks Bond renewal and also please encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Great parks help make Lake Oswego a great place to live!

The writers are Kent Studebaker, mayor; Theresa Kohlhoff, city councilor; John LaMotte, city councilor; Jackie Manz, city councilor; Daniel Nguyen, city councilor; Skip O'Neill, city councilor; John Wendland, city councilor


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