District is in the works
The Summit County Commission has moved to form the North Summit Special Recreation District, which could oversee construction of an indoor exercise center in Coalville.
It is now up to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to approve resolutions and maps passed by Coalville and Henefer, deputy Summit County attorney Helen Strachan said.
"Those municipalities have to approve it before we can include them in the district. Had they decided they didn’t want to be in it we would have just excluded them from the boundaries of the district," Strachan said.
Councilors in Coalville and Henefer supported the idea, she added.
But property taxes could increase if new facilities are built.
Coalville residents probably cannot afford recreation facilities similar to parks, trails, a gymnasium and ice rink in western Summit County, Coalville Mayor Duane Schmidt explained.
"We need to do the same thing, but on terms that suit our community," Schmidt said. "We don’t want to just copy the Snyderville Basin and we don’t want to copy South Summit, because we very well may not be able to afford that."
Taxpayers in the South Summit School District agreed to help fund construction of the South Summit Aquatic and Fitness Center in Kamas.
"The rec program that we have is OK, but it could be so much better," Schmidt said. "We can certainly take our time and put together a program that works for North Summit, funded through this rec district."
Those who want a leisure pool should remember that the swimming pool at North Summit High School in Coalville was just remodeled.
"That takes away the need for a swimming pool," Schmidt said. "As our community grows, there may become more of a need for additional pool facilities, but as our community sits right now, the swimming pool at the high school is more than adequate."
If the district forms, residents could weigh in on how potential bond money is spent.
"That is a question that needs to be answered by the community in regard to what we really want," Schmidt said. "If you have a community center in Coalville, does that help the people in Henefer?"
"Yes," Henefer Mayor Randy Ovard replied, adding that "Henefer residents jump in the car and go to Coalville for basically everything."
"We need to pander to the newlyweds, the young families and the younger generation," Ovard said. "We need to look to the future."
But homeowners in Henefer are against big tax hikes for recreation, Ovard said.
"They’re interested in it if the increase is not significant," he explained.
Henefer would be entitled to funds should North Summit voters pass a recreation bond, Ovard said.
"They could use it for a civic center in Henefer," he said. "They really just want to be able to put it on the ballot and see if the citizens want it."
Meanwhile, Coalville, Henefer and Wanship each should have a representative on the district’s administrative control board, Schmidt stressed.
"At this point, nobody is going to be taxed a penny," Schmidt said about the formation of the district. "It’s a good idea, and it’s just a first step."
Public hearings would occur before a tax is levied.
"We’ve got to look at this as an opportunity to provide some sort of culture and arts," Schmidt said. "You want to have some of it in Coalville, some of it in Henefer and some of it up in Wanship."
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