According to the Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck city counsel voted to place a half-cent sales tax increase on the June ballot. If Bismarck residents approve the half-cent sales tax increase, the money will fund a new recreation center. Once the center is paid off the half-cent sales tax would drop off. If voters approve the new recreation center in June, the plan is to have it open by 2023.

According to a memo, Parks and Recreation staff sent city commissioners, Bismarck residents pay 7% sales tax rate. The sales tax rate in Bismarck is 0.25% lower than in Grand Forks, Minot, Mandan, and 0.5% lower than in Fargo.

The facility would include two buildings with a courtyard in between. One of the buildings would house an ice arena. The othe building will have a four lane running-walking trail, an adventure trail, and a cross country track that will have elevations and obstacles. The facility will also include a gymnastics facility, indoor turf, six tennis courts, two gymnasiums, four racquetball courts and five indoor pickelball courts.

The cost of the recreation center is estimated at $114.5, a low cost would be $108 million with a high cost of $120 million. A study done by a consulting firm recommends funding the project with private donations and a sales tax increase. The Parks and Recreation capital campaign committee has plans to try and raise 5% to 10% of the cost through private funds.The recreation center will be available to anyone and everyone. The cost of memberships haven't been released at this point.

The Parks and Recreation haven't decided on a location yet. A few considerations are land owned by developer Ron Knutson by St. Mary's Central High School in north Bismarck, the Silver Ranch, Sunrise developments, and the Missouri Valley Complex.

Annual revenue is estimated at 2.6 million each year, with projected annual expenses at 3.1 million. The Parks and Recreation will cover the difference in revenue to expenses which is estimated at $300,000 a year. The Parks and Recreation would have to do some additional budget adjustments to cover the $300,000.

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