Many of you have been asking about the City Council’s intent to issue up to $25 million in Certificates of Obligation (CO) debt for a new multi-purpose sports facility. The actual number will probably be $23 million.
Allow me to try and answer your questions and assure you that this is not being done on a whim.
The Dallas Stars approached the City about building a multi-purpose facility for club league basketball and volleyball. This facility would be built and operated with a similar arrangement that the present Star Center is operating under.
The project would involve no tax increase for citizens. Instead, it would be funded with approximately $23 million in City debt, off-set by lease payments from the Dallas Stars. The City Council voted to proceed with a 9-week period for citizen comments, during which time the City will be making public presentations to explain the project to residents and voters.
The Dallas Stars would run club sport leagues and collect all revenue. Part of the agreement with The Stars would allow for some “open time”, where the public could use parts of the facility.
Certificates of Obligation are debt instruments that can be issued by the City Council. They are different from General Obligation bonds (GO) and do not require a vote of the taxpayers. All information and financial details must be discussed by the City Council in open public meetings. That was done and no residents signed-up to speak for or against the issue. Again, there will be more time for the public to comment on this and get more information from city staff.
The City has issued both types of debt in the past for various types of projects.
While I was on Council, I voted to approve this project only because it was going to be paid for by the Dallas Stars, not the residents of Farmers Branch.
Our history with The Stars is long and solid. They have paid the debt service on the Dallas Star Center for 17 years and the building will be paid off in three years. I fully expect that same arrangement to hold for the new facility.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to message me back or call me. You can also contact your City Council representative for more information.