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Civic Center Bond Information

On August 2nd, Normandy Park voters will have the opportunity to vote on a proposition that will support a new city civic center. If approved, Proposition No. 1 will authorize the city to issue a general obligation bond to fund the construction of a new Civic Center at City Hall Park. The proposed Civic Center will replace the buildings located at City Hall Park, built initially as an elementary school in 1956 and converted to the City Hall, Police Department, and community recreation center in 1989.

Project Description

The proposed Civic Center will be an approximately 23,500 square foot facility. It will include indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, performance spaces, public meeting and event rooms, an early childhood education program (Normandy Park Preschool), environmentally-friendly outdoor green spaces, city and police administrative offices, council chambers, and additional parking at City Hall Park. This proposed design will increase the facility size by 6,000 square feet, and will be built with current life safety standards, and be eligible for LEED certification.

Project Cost

Based on the input of our professional design team, the project is expected to cost $25 million.

Project Funding

To move this project forward, the city is now in the process of securing the project financing. The current funding plan is as follows:

Voter Approved Bond $ 15,000,000
City Funds (REET & Various Cost Savings) $ 3,000,000
Private Donations $ 5,000,000
Grants $ 2,000,000
Project Total $ 25,000,000

Annual Cost of the Bond

The bond for this project will not exceed $15,000,000 and will be repaid out of annual property tax levies over a period of up to 25 years. Repayment of this bond would come from excess property taxes levied on all properties in the city. While the calculation of this exact amount will depend on interest rates and property values, the City estimates the bond will create an additional levy tax rate of $0.508 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.

What does this mean? The annual property tax paid by the owner of a median-valued home ($755,000) would increase by approximately $384 per year or $32 per month. Here are some additional examples of the bond cost:

Assessed Value of Home Annual Bond Levy Costs
$500,000 $254
$750,000 $381
$1,000,000 $508

Important Note – When calculating the financial impact on your household, remember to use assessed value and not market value. Here is a link to the King County Department of Assessments to view your current assessed value.

Ballot Measure Explanatory Statement

Passage of Proposition No. 1 would allow the City of Normandy Park, Washington, to issue general obligation bonds. In accordance with Ordinance No. 1039 approving this proposition, the bonds will pay for design, construction and equipping of a 23,000 square foot Civic Center at City Hall Park, to include City Hall and the Police Department; meeting and event rooms; indoor and outdoor community recreation spaces, including a gymnasium, dance studio, an outdoor playfield, basketball courts and parking spaces; environmentally-friendly outdoor green spaces and an early childhood education program (Normandy Park Preschool) for use by the city and its residents. The new Civic Center would replace the buildings currently located at City Hall Park. Costs of the project not paid by bonds would be paid from private donations and grants. The bonds in the amount of not to exceed $15,000,000 would be repaid out of annual property tax levies over a period of up to 25 years. The levy tax rate is estimated to be an increase of $0.508 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. The estimated annual property tax paid by an owner of a median assessed value home ($755,000) would be approximately $384 for the year or $32 per month for 2023. Exemptions from taxes may be available to certain homeowners. To determine if you qualify, call the King County Assessor at 206-296-7300.

Ballot Language





The City Council of the City of Normandy Park adopted Ordinance No. 1039 concerning this proposition for bonds. This proposition authorizes the construction of a new civic center to include indoor and outdoor recreation spaces, an early childhood education program, city and police administrative offices, council chambers, meeting and event rooms, and parking; to issue up to $15,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within a maximum term of 25 years to finance such improvements; and levy property taxes annually in excess of regular property tax levies to repay such bonds, as provided in Ordinance No. 1039. Should this proposition be:


Frequently Asked Questions about the Civic Center and Proposition #1

  1. What is the amount and term of the bond?
    Based on Ordinance #1039, which authorized Proposition #1 to be placed on the August 2nd ballot, the maximum amount which can be borrowed is $15,000,000 and must be repaid in 25 years. These are the maximums; both the amount and term of the bond can be lower.
  2. Can the amount and term of the bond be increased?
    No. The city cannot exceed the maximum amounts that were set in the ordinance.
  3. What will the bond cost me?
    That will depend on the assessed value of your home (property). Based on the current market, and assuming the bond is for $15,000,000 with a 25-year term, each property in the city will be assessed at $0.508 for every $1,000 of assessed value. So, if your home is assessed at $1,000,000, the estimated bond cost to your home will be $508 a year. And remember, market value and assessed value are not the same. Typically, your assessed value is less than what you would sell it for. The best tool to find the actual cost of Proposition #1 is to visit the King County Assessor’s Tax Transparency Tool. Enter your address and it calculates the annual impact.
  4. I heard that only property assessed $1,000,000 or more will be assessed. Is that correct?
    No. All properties in Normandy Park will be assessed if Proposition #1 passes.
  5. What happens as my home’s assessed value increases?
    The dollar amount each property owner pays for Proposition #1 will remain uniform. This levy is not like other taxes. It will not need to increase to keep up with the cost of living. The assessment that residents will be paying is for the debt service (or loan payment) on the bond which is a fixed amount. And we do not need to collect more than that amount. So, if property values increase, the levy rate will be reduced and the actual dollar amount that you pay remains at what you paid previously. So basically, the payment you see in year 1 will be the same as year 25.
  6. Will the bond vote pass with a majority vote?
    For Proposition #1 to pass, 60% of voters will have to vote for its approval. In addition, at least 40% of the voters that voted in the last general election must cast a vote.
  7. What happens if the bond fails?
    The City Council has not made any decisions on this issue. However, since the proposed bond represents 60% of the funding for the planned civic center, it is safe to say that the project plan could not move forward.
  8. When will the bond be issued if approved by voters?
    The plan would be to issue the bond just before project construction begins. However, this schedule could be moved forward if financial indicators showed benefits of an earlier issuance, such as a better interest rate.
  9. What is the project timeline?
    If Proposition #1 is approved, the city plans to start project design in late summer. Design is expected to take at least 12 months. After the design is complete, the city will then go through a competitive bid process. Then, construction will start which is expected to take 14 to 16 months. So, if the process goes smoothly, the project will be complete in 2025.
  10. Can the city pay off the bond early?
    The city plans to include terms in the bond language that will give us the ability to pay off the bond early.
  11. What amount of private funds have been committed?
    The city has verbal commitments for 5% of the private funds needed for the project.
  12. What happens if the city does not meet its share of the fundraising?
    The City Council will need to evaluate the options and decide on the best direction for the city. This could be an adjustment to the project, looking for additional alternative revenues, or other options. An important note is that no construction contracts can be authorized without all the project funding secured.
  13. What is the City’s bond rating?
    AA (High Quality).
  14. What is the estimated interest rate for the bond?
  15. What will city staff do during construction?
    City staff will continue operations in the existing building at City Hall Park. The first building built will house City Hall and the Police Department. Once complete, city staff will move operations to the new building, and the new recreational building will be built.
  16. How will city business be conducted during construction?
    While it will be a little noisy, operations will continue as usual at our current location.
  17. Will we lose any existing trees?
    Based on the current plan, there is a big oak and a medium size oak that will both be removed along with a few of the frontage trees along 174th Street. It should be noted that the frontage trees are coming to the end of their life cycle.
  18. How much in REET revenues will be used for the civic center project, and will there still be funding available for other city needs, i.e., streets, police?
    REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) is a tax on the sale of real property, and the city receives approximately $600,000 annually. Since the use of these funds is limited to capital projects, it is an important revenue source for the city. The city plans to use $1.5 million of REET funds for this project. Most of this funding has already been set aside since early planning was initiated to be certain we could support other capital projects needed around the city.
  19. How did Normandy Park use the previous recreation center?
    The previous recreation center had a variety of programming over the years. The most recent programs included a preschool, basketball, pickle ball, a dance program, and a martial arts program.
  20. What is envisioned for the new recreation center?
    No specific programs have been identified at this time. Once we know that the facility will be constructed, the city will start planning for programming. The intent is to create a variety of opportunities for everyone, and we will be planning recreation programs to utilize an indoor gym, fitness room/performance stage with classes, with programming for all ages.
  21. How has bicycle infrastructure been integrated into the project?
    There is plenty of parking available, but it would be cool if Normandy Park is more bike forward and safety conscious. The city is committed to exploring alternatives to the automobile. With that in mind, we will support both pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure as we develop the actual design of this project.
  22. Why are we planning to have space for the preschool when it accommodated so few Normandy Park residents?
    The City Council is committed to the preschool program since there is a demand for high-quality preschool education for our community. Financially, it makes sense to own space for the program rather than a long-term rental situation.
  23. Who is going to be allowed to use the preschool?
    Enrollment in the preschool program is open to everyone, with Normandy Park residents receiving priority with early registration.
  24. What about the impact of added traffic with the multi-use facilities? The number of parking spaces seems small. What is the headcount to vehicle ratio?
    The proposed civic center is approximately 6,000 square feet larger than the previous facility. The program areas will be the same but just slightly bigger in size. While any new programs will be open to all, our focus will be on programs to serve Normandy Park residents. Because the program areas are the same as before (office space, sports court, preschool, dance room, community room), we are not expecting a significant addition in traffic. To better accommodate users, the project includes site work with a goal to increase the number of parking spaces at the facility by 10 – 20 over the existing number of spaces.
  25. Will the baseball fields be maintained?
    Yes, the two baseball fields located on the south end of the property will be in the same place and configured the same way. Unfortunately, the T-ball field will have to be removed to accommodate the project. And the great lawn that is currently at City Hall will be designed to accommodate a U8 soccer field.
  26. Will there be less green space at City Hall Park?
    Yes, the total green space in the lawn area will be smaller, and the current T-ball field will be gone. To balance this loss, we have planned for a great lawn that will be open and have space for a U8 soccer field.
  27. Will the city maintain the playground at City Hall Park?
    The playground equipment will be moved and will be re-used in a new location at City Hall Park. It will be placed on the southeast corner of the current small soccer field.
  28. Timing and cost overruns – how will this be handled?
    The city is committed to a well-run project. We have assembled a professional team, both city staff and professionals, who will provide the highest quality oversight to ensure this doesn’t happen.

More questions?

For answers to your questions, please contact Amy Arrington, City Manager

(206) 248-8246

Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

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