“The numbers were astronomical and nowhere realistic for what we can afford for the city,” Wyck Knox, the architect leading the project for VMDO, said of the estimates.
City officials said to pay for a $ 50 million project, city council would have to increase the property tax rate by 10 cents, four of which would go to schools. A hypothetical $ 75 million project would mean an increase of 12 cents, half of which would go to schools, according to a presentation at Tuesday’s meeting.
The city’s property tax rate is currently 95 cents per $ 100 of assessed value, and the state average is $ 1.04, according to the presentation.
Chris Meyer, a relative in the city, asked what people should do if they’re not happy with the $ 60 million figure.
City Manager Chip Boyles said they should speak to a city councilor and “tell him how much you’re willing to pay more.”
Knox echoed Boyles and added that the city is working hard to look at different options for funding the project.
“But if you think this first round must be more than [$60 million], then you have to talk, ”he said.
School board members, as well as council and city council candidates, were in attendance on Tuesday along with members of the community design team.