Saratoga Springs Mayor announces rec center funding plan

Mayor Valerie Keehn has announced a financing plan for the city's $6.3 million recreation center that does not include property tax revenue.

At a press conference held at City Hall Monday, Aug. 6, Keehn announced that at least 50 percent of the new center could be funded through subdivision, condominium and site plan recreations fees. Pursuant to city law, those fees must be used exclusively for park, playground or other recreational purposes.

"Between 2000 and 2006, the Planning Board collected a total of $382,600 in recreation fees"an annual average of $54,657. I am pleased to report that this revenue is totally enhanced," said Keehn.

Last year, Keehn introduced legislation that levied recreational fees on all new residential condominium developments requiring site plan review. Before that, a $1,500 fee was levied only on new subdivision projects. "As a result of last year's action, the city has received $42,000 so far in new, non-property tax revenue," she said. Keehn estimates that by the end of the year, these fees will produce an additional $170,000.

City Department of Recreation Chairman Derrick LaGall said he thinks this plan is a great way to use an existing law to generate revenue for a project that has been on the table for years. "Of course, I wish this could've happened a little bit sooner, but now it seems like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said.

LeGall said groundbreaking for the project would be in the spring of next year.

Read more in the Aug. 9 print edition of The Saratoga Spotlight.""

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