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Meadowlakes upgrades go to voters

Hidden Falls renovations in Meadowlakes

Improvements to Meadowlakes city facilities are on hold following the successful filing of a petition to force an election on $7.5 million worth of bonds in November. Courtesy image

Meadowlakes voters will decide on millions of dollars’ worth of improvements to city facilities in November after a circulating petition gathered enough signatures to force a bond election.

A proposition to issue $7.5 million of certificate of obligation bonds for renovations will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. The project includes combining the Hidden Falls clubhouse and pro shop and expanding the city swimming pool by 1,000 square-feet. 

Meadowlakes officials were prepared to move forward with the work and sell the bonds in mid-July before the successful petition was submitted on June 26. 

“The plan would have been to engage the architects to start working on the details to get it to the point where we could get a detailed cost estimate,” Mayor Mark Bentley said. “Now, we’ll just fast-forward to November and pick up where we left off.”

Petition organizers obtained 177 verified signatures from registered voters in Meadowlakes, far surpassing the state-mandated threshold to trigger an election.

“Based on the city’s current voter registration roll, the city has 1,179 registered voters,” City Manager Johnnie Thompson wrote in Meadowlakes’ weekly newsletter on June 28. “The signatures of 5% (86) of the registered voters in the city (were) required to halt the City Council voting on the issuance of the (certificate of obligation bonds).”

Bentley wasn’t surprised by the petition’s success.

“We talked to some financial people, and they said that these things can be successful in smaller towns like ours because the threshold is fairly low and it doesn’t take a whole lot of people to call an election,” he said.

Resident Sean Matlock explained why he signed the petition during the council meeting on June 20.

“I do not believe the City Council members should make a decision that has this financial impact of this magnitude without putting this to a vote by all the property owners and (homeowners’ association) members of Meadowlakes,” he said.

Mayor Bentley is concerned about the financial impact of delaying the improvements if they aren’t approved until the November election.

“My feelings right now are about the same as they were three or four weeks ago,” he said. “It’s going to be an issue that’s looming out there. Whether the inflation rates continue, I can’t say, but there’s a lot of indications that it will be a little while before it subsides.”

Regardless, Bentley is more than willing to hold an election to give residents a voice in the matter.

“We’ll let the process play out and move on from there,” he said.

You can view a 3D panoramic rendering of proposed improvements online.