Elections

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Voting & COVID 19

The State Legislature passed SB6007 during the 2020 6th Special Session making substantial changes to how the General Election is administered. 

  • The election will be conducted primarily by mail;
  • In-person voting will be available by limited drive-thru voting;
  • Drop boxes will be available for depositing mail-in ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day;
  • Registration by provisional ballot will be available at any available polling place.
  • Visit www.DavisVotes.com for more information.

Davis voters will receive their ballot approximately three weeks prior to Election Day. Drive-up early voting will be available October 27-30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Davis County Administration Building. The Legacy Events Center - 151 S. 1100 W. - will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for in-person voting on Election Day. 

Syracuse City will be holding a Special Election on November 3, 2020. The ballot mailed to all registered voters will include a proposition regarding the issuance of General Obligation Bonds. The ballot language for this proposition reads as follows:

OFFICIAL BALLOT PROPOSITION FOR THE
SYRACUSE CITY, UTAH
 SPECIAL BOND ELECTION

Shall the City Council of Syracuse City, Utah be authorized to issue General Obligation Bonds (the “Bonds”) in a principal amount not to exceed Twenty-Six Million Dollars ($26,000,000) for the purpose of (i) financing all or a portion of the costs to acquire, construct, furnish and equip an approximately fifty acre park with multiple recreational amenities and related improvements and (ii) refinancing and restructuring the existing City Hall, a fire station, remodel of the police station and improvements to the public works building previously financed by existing Municipal Building Authority Lease Revenue Bonds (the “MBA Bonds”)?  Said Bonds to mature in not to exceed twenty-one (21) years from the date of issuance of such Bonds.

 Property Tax Cost of Bonds: If the Bonds are issued as planned, an annual property tax to pay debt service on the bonds will be required over a period of 20 years in the estimated amount of $169.00 per year on a $347,000 primary residence and in the estimated amount of $308.00 on a business property having the same value.

 The City notes that the planned restructuring of the MBA Bonds will reduce the City’s annual budget by approximately $597,000.  The City intends to use the $597,000 for repayment of the Bonds such that it will reduce the net property tax increase for an average primary residential property down from $169.00 per year to approximately $53.00 per year and the annual impact to a business will be reduced from $308.00 to approximately $97.00 per year.

 The foregoing information is only an estimate and is not a limit on the amount of taxes that the City may be required to levy to pay debt service on the Bonds. The City is obligated to levy taxes to the extent provided by law in order to pay the Bonds. The amounts are based on various assumptions and estimates, including estimated debt service on the Bonds and taxable values of property in the City.

 FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS (YES)  

 AGAINST THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS (NO)  

Any questions regarding the information contained in this notice or any aspect of Syracuse City Municipal Elections can be directed to the City Recorder, Cassie Brown, at (801) 614-9633 or by emailing cassieb@syracuseut.com.   

For more information about the Regional Park project to be funded with General Obligation bond proceeds, visit https://syracuseut.gov/422/Regional-Park.  

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Syracuse City will be mailing to each household a Voter Information Pamphlet regarding the issuance of bonds. Below are the supporting and opposing statements that will be included in that Pamphlet. A public meeting will be held October 13, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. to hear arguments for and against the bonds. 

ARGUMENT FOR BONDS

Where Syracuse farmland once produced onions, we now produce children. From 1880 until 1980, our population grew by just a couple thousand. Within the last 30 years, we have grown by ten times that amount and expect to again double our current population in the next 20 years. We are growing exponentially and we have our rich familial heritage to thank.

Our community tapestry holds a fondness for recreation. The Parks Development Master Plan has adopted the ratio of 5.6 acres of parkland per 1000 residents. Currently our city has 151 acres of developed parkland, which means with our population over 31k, we are already 35 acres short.

We have reached capacity in our Parks and Recreation department. Without the proposed regional park, we will shortly have to turn families away from city sponsored recreation as well as limit offerings. As our population increases, so will the need for programmable and open space. We must do more to preserve land for our present and future needs. 

The proposed regional park will be built on 50 acres at 2000 West and Gentile. Some of its amenities include several full size athletic fields, basketball and pickleball courts, a large playground, pavilions to accommodate parties and family reunions, a grand performance pavilion, connecting walking and running trail systems and shaded seating and eating areas. Previously labeled a “white elephant” because of lack of fertility, this soil will be built up and enjoy line of sight open space, as it will neighbor the Nature Conservancy District. From beginning to end, it is expected to be completed within approximately 3 years.

The completion date is also expected to coincide with work on the West Davis Corridor, which will provide easy access and invite visitors to our community to participate in tournaments and events. With the loss of sales tax revenue from RC Willey, financial sustainability is imperative to our city. Future employers look for amenities that attract employees and this park will guide that investment. 

We would like to pay for the park with a combination of city funds, personal and private donations, grants, and bonding. The most recent estimate for the park is approximately 33 million. The maximum amount we propose bonding for is 26 million. We will continue seeking all other means to fund this park while in the process of development and any funds gathered will be used to either decrease the amount we bond for or pay off the bond early. By starting now, we hope to curb the loss of value to funding ratio that inevitably occurs with inflation.

We propose combining the regional park bond with a current bond used for our city building, police and fire stations and public works building. For about $4.50 more per month, we will distribute the costs more equitably for these facilities across current and future households.

This park is vital to Syracuse and we hope our citizens will see the wisdom in proceeding with the bond.

Authors: Mayor Mike Gailey - mgailey@syracuseut.com
Councilmember Lisa Bingham - lbingham@syracuseut.com
Councilmember Corinne Bolduc - cbolduc@syracuseut.com
Councilmember Jordan Savage - jsavage@syracuseut.com
Councilmember Seth Teague - steague@syracuseut.com

1979 W. 1900 S., Syracuse - 801-825-1477

 

ARGUMENT AGAINST BONDS

Syracuse does need more park space to accommodate the needs of the citizens in the city both young and old.  The proposed 50 acre park is well planned to meet the needs of all citizens.  The argument is not against a park but how to fund it. 

Bonding for the park may significantly handicap the city’s ability to provide for basic services.     The city has struggled for more than a decade under sizable bonds to pay for vital service buildings such as city hall, the fire station, and more.  The need for a new water tower could only be solved with yet another bond.     All city bonds could be retired in just a few short years; however, this proposal extends the current level of bonding out through 2042.  Future infrastructure bonds could end up at a higher rate because the city has extended its debit.

This bond tax is relative to your property value reflecting approximately a 25% increase.  Ideally it would end.  None of your current city officers are expected to be in office in 2042, so no person can promise the tax will end there.  It is a common practice of government to repurpose such a tax allocation beyond its purpose because the citizens have grown accustom to paying it over 20+ years.  After enduring the tax, it will be presented as money you already pay, applying the same amount to a different use.  Effectively you are voting for another large tax increase with no end.      

Fundraising should have happened before taxing the population.  Syracuse began the process of planning for this park 5 years ago.     With the first indication of a large cost for the park the plan was effectively put on the shelf.  Years of fundraising should have taken place before now.  To only start the process of fundraising in all the various forms after putting this tax measure on the ballot is a disservice to the people.  How much could be raised to offset your burden?     Which sources could relieve this tax burden?  What options are available to lower the cost of the park?  

This park is over designed, NOT in terms of services, but in terms of engineering.  Because the land has a history of being considered infertile, the engineering jumped to the assumption that a minimum of 8 feet of fresh soil is needed across all 50 acres.  It was suggested when planning began that some science be applied to seek alternatives, which has yet to happen.  In the initial cost estimate over $6 million dollars was added for unknown costs.  Will that extra $6 million be spent wisely?  We don’t know, so why start by funding it.  Value engineering efforts could bring the cost down significantly and should happen before asking the people to fund the full amount.  

The park will be a great benefit to the city.  Better planning before taxing is the responsible way to govern.  Funding this project should not begin with your wallet but be the last resort.

Author: Councilmember Dave Maughan - dmaughan@syracuseut.com..

1979 W. 1900 S., Syracuse - 801- 825-1477