Merriam residents will receive a four-page newsletter in their mail this week that explains the community center mail-in ballot initiative and how they will determine the future of recreation in the community.
The newsletter highlights frequently asked questions as well as comments from Merriam residents who frequently use the Irene B. French Community Center (IBFCC) and Merriam Aquatic Center (MAC).
On Aug. 25, Merriam registered voters will begin receiving a special election ballot in the mail. Voters have to fill out the ballot with a YES or NO vote between Aug. 25 and Sept. 15 by noon.
Voting YES means the City will replace the aging IBFCC and MAC with a new $30 million facility at Vavra Park. The City will use $6 million in budgeted funds and borrow $24 million in bonds to be repaid by a new quarter-cent sales tax. Currently, 82 cents of every sales-tax dollar comes from non-Merriam residents.
A NO vote means the City will repair and renovate these facilities for an estimated $20 million. This scenario will likely use $10 million in bonds with the remainder paid with capital improvement funds utilizing existing revenue.
Once voters fill out the ballot and sign their name on the yellow return envelope, they can either return the ballot in the mail or hand deliver it to the Johnson County Election Office (2101 E. Kansas City Road; Olathe, KS; 66061) by Sept. 15 at noon. A 24-hour drop box is also available at the front entrance of the Election Office.
More information is at merriam.org/buildingcommunity.