January 13, 2014

Voters in the City of Carroll could have their say this year on spending for an improved library, construction of a lazy river and slide at the Carroll Family Aquatic Center and development of a new streets maintenance facility.

Capital improvement planning documents show the city is looking at setting an August vote on using debt to finance up to $3.5 million for an improved library. The city expects to release a consultant's report within weeks on library services. No location or plans have been set for a library at this point.

In the November general election, the city may schedule two referendums, one for up to $1.355 million for construction of a lazy river and tube slide at the aquatic center, and the other for up to $3 million for a new streets maintenance building.

City officials could change those asks with incorporation of local-option sales tax or hotel-motel tax money. But City Finance Director Laura Schaefer said the city's plan now is to use bond financing for the projects.

The pool and library have been the subject of much public debate for years.

With regard to the streets maintenance building, Public Works Director Randy Krauel said the current facility at 403 E. Third St., was built in 1969. The city plans to build a new building east of the existing structure (the latter would be used for storage).

"There's not enough space to store the equipment we have now," Krauel said.

Additionally, the current building is not energy efficient. Eight full-time streets department employees work out of the building.

Krauel said design and space-needs examinations are under way. If the bond issue is successful, or funding is otherwise arranged, the streets building could be in operation in the spring of 2016, Krauel said.

All three referendums, allowing the city to issue general-obligation bonds, would require approval by at least 60 percent of the voters for passage.