Temporary Sales Tax Increase
1. What will the new fire station cost?
- The land at the corner of Minneha and Andover Road was purchased in 2020. The current estimate to build and furnish the new building, as well as pay for a public outdoor playspace onsite, is approximately $6 million.
- Also being considered for the project is a small remodel at the current station and a replacement of the parking lot. (approximately $750,000)
2. What will redesigning and constructing the 13thStreet Sports Park cost?
- The estimate of the complete “re-do” is $10.2 million. This includes three phases with the following major components:
- Phase 1: $3.2 million
- Moving all ballfields to the east and adding an additional field for a total of five ball diamonds. most importantly in this redesign, the new ball diamonds will be relocated and properly drained to reduce the current game cancellation rate of nearly 20%.
- New Concession Stand
- New restrooms
- New Playground
- Phase 2: $2.5 million
- Destination Playground (i.e. one people come specifically to play on and see!)
- Splash Pad
- New parking lot
- Adult Fitness Area (outdoor)
- A "Great Lawn" gathering area
- New picnic shelters/restrooms
- Outdoor pickleball courts
- Phase 3: $4.5 million
- Build new Community Center (double the size of the current Andover Community Center with classrooms, a walking track and a regulation-size basketball court)
- Convert current Community Center to Maintenance Building for Parks Department
- Wayfinding kiosks and signage
- Convert current tennis courts to Meadow for nature walk/observation space
- Phase 1: $3.2 million
3. Why pay for these projects with a sales tax?
- Many people come into Andover every day who don't live here. These individuals enjoy Andover Parks and Recreation amenities and on occasion are served by our Fire Service (in the unfortunate circumstance they experience a motor vehicle accident or medical emergency while in our City). For this reason, it makes sense to "spread the cost" among more than just those who pay Andover property taxes. A sales tax is paid by all who shop in our city. here are some statistics to consider on how much further the cost is spread through a sales tax, compared to a property tax which is paid by approximately 5,000 individuals/families:
- More than 25,000 cars drive through the Andover Road and US54 intersection every day
- 56% of Andover Public Library patrons reside outside Andover city limits.
- 43% of USD 385 students reside outside Andover city limits.
- 45% of participants in Andover City Rec Leagues reside outside Andover city limits.
4. What are the current sales tax rates for other areas?
Ark City 8.5%
Andover 8.5% (assuming the proposed Family Future Forward Sales Tax passes)
El Dorado 7.5%*
Rose Hill 7.5%
*Does not include additional sales tax in certain districts within this city (e.g. CID or STAR Bond)
5. How does adding a second fire station impact me?
- If you are served by Andover Fire-Rescue, this project will mean an improved level of fire service for you. Your fire department is adding 3 staff members. If you live south of US54, response times will be dramatically reduced when the new station is operational. Regardless of where you live in the fire district, service will improve because the fire department will have more units responding from more locations with more people to handle emergencies.
- If you live in the southeast corner of the Flint Hills National neighborhood you will see an improvement in your fire insurance rating with the addition of this station.
5. What will the new station look like?
- A proposed representation can be found at www.andoverks.com/newfirestation
6. What will the new 13th Street Sports Park Look like?
- A proposed representation can be found at www.andoverks.com/new13thStreetPark
7. Will these projects create traffic issues in the areas they are located?
- There will be very minimal impact to traffic with the addition of the fire station. The traffic light at Cloud Avenue is far enough north of the station that cars should not stack up in front of the new fire station. It is not believed that any additional traffic lights will be warranted in front of the new fire station.
- The improvements made to the 13th Street Sports Park may well increase the number of people that utilize that city amenity. Therefore, the City is budgeting for a road improvement project for 13th Street in their 5-year Capital Improvement Plan.
8. Will the public be able to visit the new fire station?
- YES! We are excited to share your station with you! We plan to offer the same open-door policy at this station. We look forward to providing tours and public education at the new station.
9. Will there be rooms that can be reserved by the public for special events?
- Yes! While the design for the Fire Station has not been finalized, the current version includes a room that would be available for scheduled community use.
- The new, larger Community Center will absolutely have space that can be utilized by the public for private reservations. Additionally, the proposed Community Center can be programmed to offer open gymnasium times for the public, allowing for drop-in sports court usage, as well as indoor walking track usage.
10. Why now?
- Andover is growing!
- The current fire station was built in 1994 when the population was approximately 5,000 and the fire department ran 261 calls per year. The current station was not built with the intention of housing a career fire staff. We have simply outgrown the building.
- Popularity of the Baseball/softball program increases annually. Currently, the City caps participation because there is not enough field space to accommodate more teams. In 2021 there were 630 players which represents an increase of 240% over the last 6 seasons. The proposed 5-field complex with complete field lighting will meet our current capacity needs as well as provide room for future growth in participation.
- More Efficiency
- A new station will also allow us to move administrative staff out of the current building, opening up those spaces to be used by firefighters. This will extend the life of the current building.
- The New Community Center will allow existing space (current ACC) to be used by the Parks Department to store mowers and other equipment. This will save staff time and fuel by not requiring as many cross-town trips.
- US 54
- Growth continues at the south end of town and toward the east in the Fire District. The current station is unable to provide appropriate travel times to citizens in these areas. The long-term construction project that we know is coming to expand US54 will only exacerbate these delays. A new fire station, south of US54, will decrease travel times to the south and east which is critical in a cardiac arrest or structure fire situation.
- With growth and time, comes changes in demands and interests
- Pickleball is a relatively new sport that is extremely popular. The redesigned 13th Street Sports Park provides considerable space for this activity that was not even a thought when the Park was initially created.
- Splash Pads have come on in recent years as a safer and more cost-effective water play alternative to a community swimming pool.
- Per the Andover household scientific survey conducted by the consultant who helped create the Andover Parks & Rec Playbook 2030, the Top Priority for Investment was Walking and biking trails, followed by Natural park and preserve spaces. The redesign of the 13th Street Park allows the city to offer residents the entire western side of the Park for nature walking and observing.