Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron has compiled a list of projects to be done in the park — new playground equipment, new ballfields, new parking lot surfaces and the like — and he has ranked them by need. Now he needs the money to complete the projects.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron has compiled a list of projects to be done in the park — new playground equipment, new ballfields, new parking lot surfaces and the like — and he has ranked them by need.


Now he needs the money to complete the projects.


Caron presented the list of projects to the Rolla City Council Monday night at the council's workshop to discuss what to do about the future of The Centre/SplashZone and the parks.


Before the evening was over, the council decided to direct the city administration to write an ordinance calling for an election in April to ask voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax, half of it for The Centre/SplashZone and parks operation, but mostly for The Centre, and half for the parks projects Caron listed.


The council considered putting the tax question before voters in the form of two questions, one for an eight-cent tax for Centre and parks operations and one for an eighth-cent tax for capital projects that would "sunset" after eight years.


Councilmen talked themselves out of that plan when they realized many voters might be in favor of paying a tax for new playground equipment, new ballfields, new pavilions and the like, but they would oppose paying to subsidize the operation of The Centre, which they've been supporting for 15 years with a half-cent sales tax.


Regarding the classification of the projects, Caron told the council that the parks and recreation staff "focused on input from the most recent DirectionFinder survey."


Those findings included:

•"The parks and recreation system improvements that residents were most supportive of were: developing/improving restrooms within the parks (83 percent), upgrading existing parks/shelters/playground areas (66 percent) and developing new walking/biking trails (63 percent).
• "Residents were least supportive of upgrading the existing skate park (37 percent).
• "The parks and recreation system improvements residents were most willing to fund with tax dollars were the same three areas they were most supportive."
Following the Rolla parks and recreation project list put together by Caron and his staff for the workshop.
The projects are in four categories.
Class 1 is "imperative," meaning the project "demands attention or action due to safety or liability concern" and must be taken care of within two years. The cost of all the items in Class 1 is $1,300,000.
Class 2 is described as "significant," defined as "non-compliance with ordinances, standards, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), liability issues and highly used" facilities. Caron said these needs must be taken care of within 2-5 years. The cost of class 2 is $1,300,000, so the cumulative cost wotj Class 1 is $2,600,000.
Class 3 is "important," which means there is "non-compliance with ordinances and used," and should be taken care of in 5-10 years. Cost of the items in class 3 is $1,580,000, so to get to Class 3, the cumulative cost would be $4,180,000 and would require an eight-cent sales tax for nine years.
Class 4 is "moderate," meaning it "needs addressed but tolerable, light use," and should be cared for in 10-plus years. These items cost $2,200,000. To finish with class 4 the cumulative cost would be $6,380,000 and a tax would be needed for 14 years

Here's the breakdown:

Pave or seal parking areas and drives
Class 1
Acorn Trail – Highway O, $10,000
Ber Juan—Holloway House, $14,500
Green Acres—pavilion, $20,000
Class 2
Ber Juan—ballfields, $108,000
Buehler, $11,000
Green Acres—ballfield, $19,000
Class 3
Ber Juan—Larry May, $5,000
Ber Juan—skate park, $34,000
Ber Juan—pavilion, $11,000
Rolla Cemetery, $45,000
Schuman—upper by train, $20,000
Class 4
Ber Juan—Centre, $23,000
Ber Juan—tennis/SplashZone, $6,500
Maintenance Shop, $3,000
Schuman—lower pavilion, $3,000
Veterans--$7,000

Cemetery
Class 4
Section I--$20,000
Maintenance building, $25,000

Bridges
Class 1
Ber Juan by Larry May (footbridge and vehicle), $55,000
Green Acres to parking lot (vehicle) $85,000
Class 2
Ber Juan by Kimmel (footbridge), $35,000
Ber Juan by Kwantes (footbridge), $10,000
Ber Juan by skate park (footbridge), $10,000
Schuman by playground (footbridge), $5,000
Schuman by sand volleyball (footbridge), $5,000
Class 3
Ber Juan for disc golf (footbridge), $8,000
Class 4
Acorn Trailer by Arboretum (footbridge and vehiclce), $85,000
Deible Loop Lions Club Drive (footbridge and vehicle), not available.
Deible Loop Southview Drive (footbridge and vehicle), not available.
Breuer (footbridge), $18,000

Ballfield maintenance
1. Covered dugouts
Class 2
Green Acres, $1,500
Ber Juan Kimmel, $1,500
Ber Juan Kwantes, $1,500
Ber Juan Morgan $1,500
No classification
Ber Juan Bayless, not available
Schuman, not available
2. Bleachers (up to code and new)
Class 1
Green Acres, $9,000
Ber Juan Kimmel, $9,000
Schuman, $9,000
Class 4
Ber Juan Bayless, $16 ,000
Ber Juan Kwantes, $6,000
Ber Juan Morgan, $9,000
3. Sports Lighting
Class 1
Ber Juan Kwantes, $120,000
Ber Juan Morgan, $120,000
Class 3
Ber Juan Bayless, $140,000
Class 4
Green Acres, $120,000
Ber Juan Kimmel, $10,000
Schuman, $60,000
4. Irrigation
Class 4
Green Acres, $2,000
Ber Juan Bayless, $2,000
Ber Juan Kimmel, $2,000
Ber Juan Kwantes, $4,000
Ber Juan Morgan, $4,000
Ber Juan Robertson, $2,000
Schuman, $2,000
5. Fences
Class 3
Green Acres, $35,000
Ber Juan Bayless, $45,000
Ber Juan Kimmel, $40,000
Ber Juan Kwantes, $40,000
Ber Juan Morgan, $40,000
Schuman, $35,000
Coventry, $25,000
6. Batting Cages
Class 2
Ber Juan, $32,000

Tennis Court
Class 1
Lighting, $15,000
Class 2
Surface, $30,000
Class 4
Fence, $30,000

Playground Improvements
Class 1
Ber Juan by SplashZone, $150,000
Ber juan by ballfield, $89,500
Coventry, $89,500
Green Acres, $105,000
Maggi, $60,000
Schuman by ballfield, $150,000
Wedgewood, $89,500
Class 2
Buehler, $89,500
Town and Country, $60,000
Class 3
Barnitz, $89,500
Breuer, $105,000
Northside, $60,000
Class 4
Powell, $60,000
Ridgeview, $89,500
Schuman by train, $60,000

Restrooms
Class 1
Green Acres, $40,000
Çlass 2
Ber Juan with concession, $150,000
Class 3
Buehler, $40,000
Class 4
Schuman, $75,000

LakeMaintenance
1. Fountain (aerator)
Class 2
Schuman, $15,000
Class 3
Ber Juan, $15,000
2. Dredge
Class 2
Schuman, $250,000
3. Creek
Class 2
Ber Juan, $30,000

Skate Park
Class 3, $20,000

Disc golf tee boxes and permanent holes
Class 3, $12,000

Sidewalk/trail repairs
Class 2
Ber Juan, $100,000
Class 4
Acorn Trail, $300,000
Deible Loop, $300,000

Park Maintenance Facility
Class 4
$750,000

Holloway House
Class 2
Electric, no value given
Class 3
HVAC, no value given
Plumbing, no value given

Centre
Class 2
Floors-carpet replacement in fitness and lounge, $50,000
Class 3
HVAC, $250,000

SplashZone
Class 2
Locker rooms, $25,000
Play structure, $150,000
Class 3
Slides, $300,000
Umbrellas, $48,000

Park amenities
Class 1
Signage, $50,000
Class 2
Basketball goals/nets (25 total), $1,500 each
Soccer goals/nets (8 total), $2,000 each
Exercise trail at Ber Juan, $20,000
Water fountains (19 total), $3,000 each
Class 3
Park benches (103 total), $1,000 each
Trees, no value given
Class 4
Pavilions (6 total), $25,000
Picnic tables (107 tables), $400 each

Trains
Class 3
Engine 1501, $50,000
Caboose, $10,000

Irrigation
Class 4
CVS, $10,000
Band Shell, $15,000

Non-prioritized new park amenities
Ponzer or Deible Loop parking area, $20,000
Dog park, $50,000
Climbing wall at Centre, $200,000
Dock/fishing pier at Ber Juan Lake, $40,000
Finish ball fields at Ber Juan, $400,000

Those items would be paid for by an eighth-cent sales tax that would generate $3,800,000 over eight years. After eight years, the tax could end or, more likely, the council would ask for an extension with a new list of projects and a "no tax increase," election much like the school district has done with building projects paid for by bond issues.
The eighth-cent sales tax would generate $475,000 per year.
In the tax package, voters will also be asked to approve a permanent eighth-cent for operations of the parks and recreation department.
Here's what Caron said in his message to the council regarding that:
"Residents and city council have emphasized he need to maintain Rolla's very strong parks and recreation program by maintaining the existing infrastructure," he wrote. "In the 2013 DirectionFinder survey, 78 percent of residents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the parks and recreation system. The highest levels of satisfaction with parks and recreation services were: walking/biking trails (90 percent); number of city parks (88 percent), and location of city parks (88 percent).
Caron said residents have noticed deterioration of the park system in recent years. As evidence, he said the DirectionFinder survey showed an eight percent drop in satisfaction in "parks and recreation programs/facilities." That was the department's most significant drop in satisfaction, he said.
"With limited funding over the past 10 years many areas of the park system have fallen into disrepair of been taken out of service, and there is a backlog of maintenance items such as playgrounds, bathrooms and parking lots."
Caron said a minimum of an eighth cent sales tax will be needed to meet current operating needs of The Centre/SplashZone and the park facilities. Even that $475,000 in projected revenue from the sales tax won't be enough to avoid a $200,000 general fund transfer to the parks and recreation fund, he said.
"If we maintain General Fund support (subsidy) of $200,000, the current needs of the Centre/SplashZone (approximately $225,000) and park operations (approximately $225,000) would require a one-eighth cent sales tax," he wrote.