TOPEKA (KSNT) – There’s a move underway to guarantee that if the City of Topeka goes ahead with purchasing and expanding the Heartland Park Raceway and District, the public would have a vote.
Shawnee County Commissioners voted to approve the expansion of the Heartland Park District, but one couple believes it’s a decision left up to the public to make.
With more than 10 million dollars in prior loans, the park has done little to pay for itself.”The city’s had some good successes, i applaud them for The target, the Home Depot, the Mars. Those are excellent economic development efforts. This does not fall into that category by any means,” say Chris Immings, who started the petition.
To help pay off the current bonds put on Heartland Park, the city wants to expand the taxing district. This means more sales tax dollars coming in, without having to raise property taxes. The current plan would also include another five million spent in star bonds, as well as purchasing the park.
Immings set up a meeting for people to discuss the park, as well as sign a petition that would put the future of the park to a public vote.Theresa Miller, who attended the meeting, says she feels the petition is important because it allows her to “be able to vote yes or no, whether we want to spent this money on a racetrack. Get me that i love racing, but it’s just basically for rights.”
“Citizens would have a chance to either say yes or no. The city’s plan is a good one, lets go ahead, or no it’s not a good one, lets do something else.”
But to do that, they need to get enough signatures on the petitions to put it on the ballot. About 2,100 Topeka signatures are needed.