I actually support a rec center and think that the Midco Aquatic Center was a colossal mistake. Wrong location, too small of a facility.
The city is pushing towards another indoor pool, but many want it in coordination with a Rec Center.
The top three requests: an indoor recreation center, pickleball courts and potentially a fitness park similar to what the city recently installed at Rotary Park.
This wasn’t the first time an idea like this was floated. During the debate about the location of the Denty, many suggested we build the EC downtown with an attached convention center and convert the Arena and current CC into a rec center. Before that was Drake Springs.
They didn’t get far.
But the real question here is the cost;
“Obviously, we didn’t have any dollar signs associated with anything — this was us trying to gather feedback from the public on what they’d like to see. So we need to weigh all the answers we received with — from our professional opinion — what is best for the park and best for the community and also weigh that with budget and working with the city on if it’s something to phase over time or what’s the initial investment.”
The city is very well aware of what it may cost, and like a $10 million dollar, $20 million dollar bridge, the funding is hidden.
A city official told me recently that the budget for the quality of life projects for 2024 was originally $30 million. They said that number has doubled and could get even higher depending on the proposal picked.
It’s the oldest trick in the book. Sell the consumer on the Cadillac when they only have a budget for Scion.
The city has estimates for what this ‘BOND’ will be ($30 million budgeted and $30 million in bonds = $60 million) but like the bridge debacle they are hiding it from the public.
If you look at interest and other costs you could easily be at $80 million dollars!
Just look at this item in the consent agenda on Tuesday (Item #7);
Why would you hire bond council before you know how much you are bonding? Unlike dead animals, expensive bridges and the lipstick on a bunker ramp, just for once can you be upfront with the public?
Maybe they should use the Lincoln Park space for a Rec Center? You would have plenty of room for a facility and some parking and green space to boot. The parking lot could be reduced since there is oodles of on street parking around the park.
Listen to the Lincoln Park group speak at the School Board meeting tonight (FF: 22:00)