City Council places Senior Center bond election on November ballot
The Keller City Council on Tuesday voted 6-1 to call a bond election for November, asking voters whether the city should take on up to $8 million in debt — without an associated tax rate increase — to build a new Senior Activities Center.
The new building is envisioned as a 23,304-square-foot multi-purpose facility serving residents 55 years and older that would house space for classrooms, crafts and hobbies, events, games, senior-focused fitness activities and more. Combined with an estimated $1.6 million for design and engineering expenses that would be paid in cash from the General Fund, the total project cost is an estimated $9.6 million.
If approved, the new building as well as additional parking would be constructed at Johnson Road Park to the west and north of the existing playground, replacing the 4,236-square-foot Senior Activities Center built on the east end of the Johnson Road property in 1990.
City Council’s vote on Tuesday comes after nearly three years spent evaluating options for the Senior Center. The project was first discussed in October 2015 after 146 seniors presented a petition to members of the Keller City Council.
A Senior Center Needs Study was then approved as part of the Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget and City Council unanimously approved a contract with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton in February 2017. Their charge was to document existing needs, forecast future needs, and provide direction on how best the city could respond to them with current or future facilities.
The results of that study, two public input meetings, a City Council tour of three senior centers in nearby communities, and eight additional meetings held by the Parks & Recreation Board, Keller Development Corporation and City Council led to Tuesday night’s proposal.
Early voting for the November 6, 2018 election will run from Monday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.