North Summit Recreation regroups
Despite an overwhelming defeat at the polls, the North Summit Special Recreation District is moving forward with plans to provide the area with more recreational opportunities, even without the $8.5 million bond they asked voters to approve in order to build a recreation complex.
On Wednesday, Recreation District board members presented the Summit County Council with a new, cheaper plan which includes constructing a playground, splash pad, baseball field and walking track.
Board Member Brandon Rees said they were greatly set back by the failure of the bond and being denied their Recreation, Arts and Park (RAP) Tax Grant since the grant was contingent on the bond passing.
"Without the tax grant, we can’t buy the necessary land from the North Summit School District to put in any type of recreational field or park," Rees said. "Our new plan has everything the residents asked for, but it does rely on us acquiring a piece of land. A park and field will still give the residents recreational opportunities just like the recreation center would have."
Rees added that the board may pursue buying the land and building the park with donations from residents and private sponsors.
"The first thing we want to try to build is the splash pad and park, but that is also the most expensive," he said. "A lot of the comments we got from residents is that they don’t want their taxes raised, but they would be willing to help build something."
Summit County Council Member John Hanrahan said that he was disappointed in the Recreation Board due to the "false information" they were given in the lead up to the election.
"We were told things that were inaccurate, like there was overwhelming support for this bond and residents would be willing to pay for it," he said. "Instead it was crushed, and you guys need to figure out where to go next. It is not fair to have other county residents pay for a recreational facilities that your own residents wouldn’t pay for."
The Recreation Board was encouraged to apply for a RAP Tax Grant again next year and use it to purchase the necessary land. But first, Council members strongly urged the board to come up with a concrete plan about what they wanted to build next and how much it will cost.
The North Summit Recreation District did not return The Park Record’s calls regarding the cost associated with the new recreation plans.
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“We’re kind of turning the corner … and it’s now time to maybe put out the welcome mat in a careful and thoughtful manner,” said Bill Malone, president and CEO of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.”