Blog: Discussion and Debate about proposed City Recreation Center

There are a series of open houses where residents can be informed and ask questions about the proposed Recreation Center. I encourage residents who have an opinion or would like to know more to attend. These open houses.

I have publicly made my opinion known about this or any city's recreation center.

Let me sum it up by taking a few lines from an email that I recently sent to a concerned citizen:

"I will probably not vote for the currently proposed rec center based on what I know of it. However, if I am a minority on the council and it is ultimately approved and built in Eagle Mountain, I am sure that I will buy a family pass and be a frequent user of the facility. "

I am not opposed to the proposed Recreation Center, nor will I fight or campaign against it. I will let the residents decide on this issue. I would prefer if a private entity would set up this as a business. I would also think that this is more appropriate for an HOA to build and provide this resource. None of the recreation centers in the state of Utah break even, they are all heavily subsided from their city's general fund.

Eagle Mountain recently conducted a survey of its residents to guage the support of residents for a recreation center. I applaud the city administraiton for conducting a survey, which is an admirable thing to do. The following are some of my notes from the survey results that were presented to the city council on November 18th, 2008:
*The city expected approximately 400 responses, but recevied 1,042
*70% of respondants favored the city owned recreation center, 30% opposed it
*the survey was taken late September thru November 7th, 2008
*To get approval to build the rec center, this would have to go to a city vote for a tax increase and bond financing
*The results of the survey indicated that while 70% supported it, the amount that residents were willing to pay for the rec center was insufficnet to actually build it.

I have spoken with residents that are supportive and opposed to the rec center. Below are several comments thave I have received in emails from residents:
  • "I am saddened and discouraged at the apparent attempt to sell the idea of a recreation center to the citizens of the city. I have hoped that my elected officials would work to reduce the current huge debt load and create economic stability for its citizens rather than saddle them with additional debt and payments to their city for such an expensive luxury. I encourage you to stand up for sound economic principles, limited government, restraint, and true leadership in tough economic times and end the process that is moving forward to build a luxury item with debt."
  • "It is fun to think about a Rec. Center. "
  • "While I am not completely opposed to it, I do have a concern about having a recreation center built. Their our several people in my neighborhood right now that have either lost their jobs or have had huge salary or insurance benefit cuts that are affecting them tremendously. Many families have either lost their homes or are on the verge of losing their homes because they can't keep up with the payments. I also know that are many families who are struggling just to eat and pay their utility and other basic bills each month. I imagine that these difficulties are widespread throughout our city. My concern is that if families are already having a hard time making ends meet, it will make it even harder for them if they are trying to pay $30 or more dollars every month in increased property taxes for the recreation center. "

Feel free to share your opinion on this subject, just remember to be polite and civil.

Views: 22

Comment by Bryan Free on January 14, 2009 at 8:54am
I am the vice chair of the Eagle Mountain Parks and Recreation Board and excited to support the parks and recreation in our city according to residents needs and desries. The purpose of the current meetings is to discuss what amenities are possible and what you would want to see built if a recreation center were to come to Eagle Mountain. The meeting is not meant to discuss financing of a center. That will be discussed at later meetings and in additional surveys once we know what residents want and what it would cost to build. If you have additional questions or concerns about the recreation center we as a board want to hear from you. We are only looking at this possibility because some city council members campaigned with a promise to look at building a rec. center. Also as stated abouve 70% of residents are in favor of a center. The question ultimatley comes down to cost. We will not build a center without a vote from the citizens approving a bond. Also we will not even recommend the city have a vote on the bond if residents do not want to support the financing of a center. It is up to you as residents to let us know what you want. Please stay active in the process. We as a board meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday at 6:30 at city hall in the board room. (No meetings in January due to public rec center meetings) Please call the city before to make sure the meeting is held. Also the city can help you get in contact with us directly. I am working on getting contact information on the city website for our board (perhaps David can help with that). I think a recreation center would be great for our community. Costs for contstruction and loans is low at the present time. The concern is whether or not now is a good time for residents to be asked to pay more to support such a project. Either way I am here to do what you want. So stay active in the process. Eagle Mountain City is the BEST place to live, and we want to keep it that way.

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