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Bond will generate an estimated $30 million for parks, recreation and open space

PMG PHOTO: SAM STITES - LO Parks & Recreation stafff and board members pose for a photo during a celebration of the parks bond passing by a wide margin at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course Wednesday, May 22.

The Lake Oswego parks, recreation and open space bond (Measure 3-548) passed by a commanding 63-37 margin Tuesday night.

With 10,346 votes counted as of late Tuesday night, the bond had 6,505 "yes" votes while 3,841 voted against it.

"It's so exciting. It's like once every 20 years you get this opportunity to get an infusion like this," said Jan Wirtz, Recreation Superintendent for LO Parks & Recreation. "On so many levels this says how well the community supports the services, parks and open spaces in Lake Oswego."

The bond is estimated to generate $30 million over the next 20 years. The City would pay off the bonds using revenue from property taxes, and while this is technically a new bond it would operate in an almost identical fashion to the previous two that were approved in 1998 and 2002.

Specifically, the tax rate would remain at or below the current figure — 24 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value. For a property with an assessed value of $500,000, that comes out to around $120 per year.

The City intends to use the bond funds to acquire real property for open space or parks, or to renovate, replace or develop park and recreation facilities.

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Lake Oswego Parks & Natural Resources Advisory Board surveys Luscher Farm on a tour of the property back in February.

"(We're) so grateful to the community. I had a feeling that the community was going to support us; the survey we did last year saying that 85 percent of people supported it," Wirtz said. "It was exciting to confirm that. We extend our warmest appreciation to the citizens of Lake Oswego."

Parks & Natural Resources Advisory Board Co-Chair Bill Gordon said Tuesday that he was proud to see the vast majority of resident appreciate their parks network and want to continue investing in it.

"Overall, the vote for both the parks bond and school levy further emphasizes Lake Oswego's focus on livability," Gordon told The Review. "I think the next step will be for the City, citizens, parks board and City Council to optimize the use of the these $30 million."

Gordon said the park board and parks staff will begin coming up with an approach to gain formal citizen input on how they would those funds to be spent and prioritizing projects.

This story will be updated as ballots continue to be counted and new information becomes available from the Clackamas County Elections Division.

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