Parks & Recreation Bond Background Information
Videos to educate the community about the Parks & Recreation Bond Opportunity:
The Birmingham City Commission approved an opportunity to accept a Parks and Recreation Bond to advance the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The last bond issuance for park improvements occurred in 2008. With current bond debt expiring in fiscal years 2021 and 2024, there is an opportunity to secure a new bond and achieve the goals of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, if desired. Ballot language regarding the bond proposal will be placed on the November ballot. Learn more about the bond by signing up for the Parks & Recreation Bond Opportunity Constant Contact group at bit.ly/bhamnews.
The City’s Parks and Recreation Board answered questions about the proposed Parks and Recreation Bond at their October meeting. View the meeting below.
On Tuesday, August 11 at 6:30 p.m., the Parks & Recreation Board discussed the plan for educating the community about the Parks and Recreation Bond proposal on the November ballot. View the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/birminghamMI.
Adams Park Concept Plan
Booth Park Entry Concept Plan
Frequently Asked Questions about the Parks and Recreation Bond Proposal
Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan is updated periodically, most recently in 2006, 2011 and 2018. The plan is updated using a comprehensive process that includes extensive public engagement, leading to a prioritized list of potential projects and estimated costs. In addition to community input, other criteria for project selection included: project readiness, facility conditions and staff recommendations. The potential project list covers improvements including but not limited to: numerous parks, the Birmingham Ice Arena, the Springdale Golf Course, trail system amenities, a new pickleball court and a new Splash Pad (location for both to be determined based on community input).
In November 2019, the Parks and Recreation Board recommended proceeding with the bond project priority list. In January 2020, as part of the City’s Long Range Planning meeting, a parks bond discussion took place to consider options for funding much-needed improvements. At its regular meeting of July 20, 2020, the Commission approved putting the parks bond proposal before Birmingham voters on the November 3, 2020 ballot. The Commission approved a total bond amount of $11,250,000 which, if passed, could be issued in two series; the first in the amount of $4,750,000 in 2021 and the second series in the amount of $6,500,000 in 2024 as existing bond debt will be retired in these respective years.
The City of Birmingham presently enjoys the highest municipal credit rating available, ‘AAA,’ and a low overall debt burden. This enables the City to take advantage of very low interest rates and a favorable environment for borrowing.
All funds generated by Birmingham’s Parks and Recreation Bond will go directly to Birmingham parks and recreation facilities. If Birmingham's bond is approved, residents will see new playground equipment at many neighborhood parks, improvements to the Rouge River trails and amenities including potentially pickleball courts and a splash pad.
Information about the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Millage can be found at https://www.oakgov.com/parks/2020Millage/Pages/default.aspx.
Park & Playground Improvements
- Adams Park
- Booth Park
- Lincoln Well Park
- Pumphouse Park
- Linden Park
- Pembroke Park
- St. James Park
- Springdale Park
- Crestview Park
- Howarth Park
- Poppleton Park
- Kenning Park
Possible Other Parks & Recreation Projects:
- Ice arena building improvements
- Pickleball courts
- River Rouge Trail improvements
- Splash Pad
If the bond is approved, development of Adams Park is slated first because a site plan and construction estimates have been developed for that project. The Booth Park corner feature has moved into conceptual drawings and could be next given it is the final phase of work in Booth Park. Sequencing of other projects will be determined during the renewed planning process.
Ice Arena and Golf
The estimated $3.1 M portion of the bond for the Ice Arena improvements include the following:
- Locker Room Expansion and Remodel of Existing Locker Rooms
- Adding a Female and Team Locker Room
- New Observation Area and Meeting Room Space
- New Concession Area Upgrades
Finances & Parks Bond Tax Calculator
Birmingham Parks & Recreation Bond Opportunity
How much will it cost?
Enter your home's Taxable Value to see how the bond would impact your annual taxes. Not sure what your home's Taxable Value is? Visit BS&A and enter your address into the search bar.
First, it will take longer to fund the park projects than under the bond method. Based on the City’s projected millage limitations, it would take approximately 11 to 12 years to raise the same amount of funds, not accounting for inflation, versus obtaining the necessary funding in the next year to begin implementation. Further, all projects could be completed in six years. Additionally, each year the Headlee maximum millage is reduced which could further lengthen the time to raise the required funds. The only way to generate additional property taxes is to have an election for a Headlee override which would reset the maximum millage amount the City could levy for operating purposes.
Second, levying the maximum operating millage does not provide the City with access to available financial resources should they be needed for an emergency or for other unforeseen financial obligations.
Third, levying the maximum operating millage will have a negative impact on the City’s credit rating, currently at AAA, the best available. The rating agencies not only look at the financial health of a City, but also what happens in a potential crisis. This is where the rating agencies like to see what resources are available and the ability for the City to raise additional taxes if needed.