Senior Activities Center November 2018 Election

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Keller voters on Nov. 6, 2018 will decide 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 23,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility serving residents 55 and older that would house space for classrooms, crafts and hobbies, events, games and billiards, senior-focused fitness activities and more. Combined with $1.6 million 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.

See below for election details, the history of this project and a collection of Frequently Asked Questions

Election 101

Early voting for the Nov. 6 election runs Oct. 22-Nov. 2, 2018. Full details about voter registration, polling times and locations, sample ballots and more can be found on the Tarrant County Elections website.

Ballot Language

Keller residents will vote either "FOR" or "AGAINST" Proposition A, which will read:

"The issuance of public securities in an amount not to exceed $8,000,000 for new Senior Activity Center at Johnson Road Park." 

Fast Facts

Current Facility

  • Built In: 1990
  • Size: 4,236 Square Feet
  • Capacity: 120 People

Proposed Facility (all estimates, based on conceptual plans)

  • Cost: $9.6 million
  • Size: 23,000 Square Feet
  • Capacity: 800

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the current population of Keller and its senior citizens compare to when the Senior Activities Center was built in 1990?

Keller’s total population in 1990 when the Senior Center was built was 13,683. Of those, 1,496 citizens were 55 or older. The city’s most recent estimates are that our population will grow to 49,700 by the year 2022 with 16,082 of those residents being 55 or older. Through a combination of increased population and the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, we anticipate that more than 32 percent of Keller’s residents will be over the age of 55 by 2022.

2. What is the total estimated project cost and what does it include?

The total estimated project cost for the proposed new Senior Activities Center is $9.6 million. Voters are being asked whether to take on up to $8 million in debt for construction, without an associated tax rate increase, with the remainder being cash funded. This estimate includes all associated studies and site work; professional design and engineering; an envisioned ~23,000-square-foot building; all furniture, fixtures and equipment; and a corresponding expansion of the parking lot at Johnson Road Park (~90 spaces).

3. Without a tax rate increase, where would the money for this project come from?

The city made its final payment this year on debt related to the Keller Town Center Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which covered the construction of Keller Town Hall, the KISD Natatorium, and the drainage, roads, bridges, trail and park amenities in Town Center. If approved by voters, up to $8 million in debt would be issued by the city to pay for the proposed Senior Activities Center and take advantage of both the fund balance in the TIRZ account as well as the portion of General Fund that has been going to the TIRZ payments since 2000.

4. The proposed 23,000-square-foot facility is more than five times larger than the current building. How did the city arrive at that square footage for its proposal?

City leadership took a number of variables into account in crafting the size of this proposal, including:

  • The increase in Keller’s senior population since the existing facility was built
  • Projections for Keller’s senior population at buildout
  • Ongoing demographic changes as existing generations age
  • National recommendations and best-practices for the size and amenities of community senior centers
  • The size and amenities of recently constructed senior centers in other comparable North Texas communities
  • Public input regarding desired amenities for the new center, and square footage standards for the size of those amenities

5. If the proposed senior center is voted down in November, what would happen to that $9.6 million?

If voters turn down the new senior center proposal, the city would not issue the up to $8 million in debt associated with the project. The $1.6 million in cash that was earmarked for this project as part of the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget pending the November vote would remain in the General Fund fund balance to be used or saved at City Council’s discretion.

 SEE ALL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

History

Aug. 7, 2018: City Council voted 6-1 to place Proposition A on the Nov. 6, 2018 ballot asked voters to decide whether to take on up to $8 million in debt — without an associated tax rate increase — to build a new Senior Activities Center.
July 17, 2018: City Council discussed a third option for the center, different from the two considered at the June 12 meeting, and directed city staff to include a vote to call a bond election at the following City Council meeting. That option was a ~23,000-square-foot, one-story building that would accommodate all of the programming space previously discussed including a larger active multipurpose room that, in addition to basketball and senior-focused fitness classes, could accommodate up to three pickleball courts as needed.
June 12, 2018: A Special City Council meeting was held to discuss two model options:
  • The original two-building plan consisting of a 19,332-square-foot, one-story Senior Center and a standalone gym large enough for four pickleball courts, plan an additional four outdoor pickleball courts and replacing the existing outdoor basketball courts in Johnson Road Park
  • A new larger, one-story building plan: a 22,000-square-foot Senior Center that would include a large enough fitness area to accommodate two indoor pickleball courts

March 21, 2018: City Council members tour three comparable senior centers in neighboring communities: Flower Mound, Coppell and Hurst

March 20, 2018: City Council members and staff meet with Savannah Developers to discuss the cost of public vs. private construction projects

Jan. 30, 2018: Joint meeting held between City Council, the Keller Development Corporation and the Parks & Recreation Board; City Council directs staff to focus on:

  • A two-building option: 19,332-square-foot Senior Center and a standalone gym large enough for four pickleball courts
  • An additional four outdoor pickleball courts in Johnson Road Park
  • Replacement of the existing outdoor basketball courts in Johnson Road Park

Oct. 27, 2017: At their City Council retreat, council directs staff to tentatively plan for a November 2018 bond election to fund a new Senior Center

Oct. 10, 2017: Joint meeting held between City Council, the Keller Development Corporation and the Parks & Recreation Board

August 22, 2017: Brinkley Sargent Wiginton attends the Parks & Recreation Board meeting to further discuss the Senior Center Needs Study; Parks & Rec recommends the following to City Council:
  • Build a new Senior Center facility on the west side of the playground in Johnson Road Park
  • The new facility should be approximately 22,000 square feet
  • The project should continue to move forward, and joint work session is requested
August 10, 2017: Brinkley Sargent Wiginton presents the results of the needs assessment to the Parks & Recreation Board

July 13, 2017: Parks & Recreation Board discusses the results of the public input meetings

June 21 & July 6, 2017: Brinkley Sargent Wiginton conducts two public input meetings at the Keller Senior Activities Center
 
February 21, 2017: Needs assessment contract with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton authorized by City Council as part of the Consent Agenda
February 7, 2017: Members of the Keller Senior Activities Center present to the City Council (during work session) on the current facility’s size and challenges, and their desire for an upgraded facility
December 15, 2016: Parks & Recreation Board reviews the proposed contract with Brinkley Sargent Wiginton and recommends approval
December 8, 2016: Brinkley Sargent Wiginton presents proposal to Parks & Recreation Board to be the consultant of record for the Senior Center Needs Study
October 13, 2016: Members of the Senior Center present to the Parks & Recreation Board on the current facility’s size and challenges, and their desire for an upgraded facility
September 20, 2016: City Council approves the FY2017 Keller Development Corporation budget as part of the city's overall Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget, including funding for a senior center needs study
June 2016: Senior Center needs study placed in Keller Development Corporation FY2017 budget

 

October 20, 2015: Council members Armin Mizani and Debbie Bryan led a discussion during the City Council work session regarding the petition, and City Council directed staff to begin a process to assess current and future needs for the facility
September 2015: A 146-signature petition was delivered to City Council requesting a review and expansion of the Senior Activities Center

 

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