Guest Editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest Editorial

Dena Simister, Coalville

I am writing in regards to the North Summit Recreation District proposal to construct a "Rec Center" in Coalville. The issue will be voted on in just a few weeks.

This has become quite a heated topic in our community, and I just want to voice my opinion. I’ve looked at the plan, the feasibility study, and listened to people on both sides. I’ve made my own list of pros and cons, and I have to say that I am coming down on the side of building this community center.

The only "con" that I can see is the increase in property tax. Nobody likes to see their taxes go up, including me, but the amount is really quite manageable. For our household, all we need to do is skip a couple of fast-food meals each month and we can easily meet the tax obligation. (Not to mention the health benefits of skipping those meals!)

We are also business owners, and even that increase can be budgeted for. All it will take is a little planning and budgeting. Most of us waste at least a few dollars every month, don’t we?

I know some residents of the North Summit Recreation District are on very fixed and limited incomes, but I truly believe that the benefits far outweigh the cost to these individuals as well. If people would commit to use the facility on a regular basis, the improvements in quality of life and health are worth much more than the out-of-pocket expense. In fact, there is substantial research that shows that regular exercise can actually save us money on our health-care costs, prescription-drug costs, lost wages, and the list goes on. Even people who are obese, who exercise on a regular basis, have a higher quality of life and spend less on health care and prescription drugs than the obese who are sedentary. The proposed membership fees are lower than any other facility I have ever used, and again, can easily be budgeted in.

One of the other features of the proposed Rec Center is a "teen lounge." I so wish we would have had something like this when my children were teenagers. There was and continues to be very little offered by the community outside of sports activities. I believe there is a very real need for a place our youth can go a place, besides our homes, where we know they will be supervised and safe.

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Another thing to consider is the opportunity this community center will give for employment. It will be necessary to hire full- and part-time people from within the area to staff, manage, and clean the center. Those people will benefit greatly from gainful employment right here in Coalville.

I have appreciated being able to use the facility at the school for the last few years, but it’s probably not something the school can continue to offer forever. I’m sure there are liability issues, and the school weight room was never intended to be used by the public.

I know there are those who oppose this bond. I do respect your opinion, and I hope you will likewise respect mine. I would encourage the residents of the North Summit Recreation District to take an in depth look, and please vote in favor of building the Rec Center. I believe it is a valuable community asset.