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Pool bond placed before voters

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A leisure pool with slides, fountains and a lazy river is slated at Kimball Junction should voters on Election Day pass a $12 million recreation bond.

"It’s more of a water theme park if you will," said Bonnie Park, a spokeswoman for the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District about the shallow pool. "It’s all fun."

Recreation officials have contemplated expanding the Basin Recreation Field House with a pool and climbing wall since the project began in 2003.

But most of those surveyed at an open house this week expressed support for spending roughly $9 million to build a swimming pool and gymnasium, Park added.

The question is before voters living in the boundaries of the Park City School District, outside of the Park City limits.

But with a $20 million land bond on the ballot in Park City, pool proponents stress that only people who own property in both areas would be taxed for each bond.

"I had the complete range," Park said when asked to respond to feedback she received from residents this week about the proposed tax hike. "One person flat out told me that she would not vote for this bond and had a lot of questions about tax rates."

Homeowners in Snyderville whose property is worth $400,000 would see their taxes increase about $60 per year if the pool bond is passed.

In 2006 they paid Basin Recreation almost $46 in taxes per every $100,000 of their home’s value, said Park, who adds that if voters pass the bond that yearly levy would increase to about $60.

"The majority of people circled that they support this facility and they are willing to pay for it," Park said.

Roughly $3 million left over from the bond after the pool is built could be used to construct and maintain additional trails in the area, she said, adding that a paved trail north of East Canyon Creek between Jeremy Ranch and Kimball Junction is in the works.

"The district has a good track record of doing good things and the board is very conscientious about how they’re spending taxpayer dollars," Park said. "If the bond passes then there will be more dialogue about what the field house facility looks like."

She insists a push by rock climbers for an indoor wall at Kimball Junction has not been dismissed.

"We have been having discussions to say how we get some kind of climbing facility in there," Park said.

When Basin Recreation conducted a needs assessment three years ago an indoor sports facility was the most requested item from constituents, she added.

"We built phase one (of the field house) because that’s what we could afford and we needed to make sure we got that facility up and operating well," Park said, adding that the second phase could include leisure and lap pools and a gymnasium for basketball and volleyball. "There is no public gymnasium in the whole area."

To reduce competition between the public and private sectors, Park says swimming lessons and aerobics wouldn’t occur at the new facility.

Basin Recreation built the field house for about $4 million after an $11 million recreation bond passed in Snyderville in 2001, Park said.

"This is one of the greatest sports towns in the country," said Basin resident Steve Morgan in an interview at this week’s open house. "My wife is a lifelong swimmer I think this is great."

But talks continue between Basin Recreation and the Park City School District after school board members became concerned about building another swimming pool so near an aquatic center they operate at Ecker Hill Middle School.

"We were happy that most of the people that responded were in favor of the gymnasium," Park said. "The reason that we’re hesitant to build lap lanes is because we truly don’t want to compete with what’s going on at Ecker Hill."

For a related story see page B-10.


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