Recreation board balks at new bond
Based on the results of a recent survey, more than 20 percent of those polled in the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District said the economy is in a recession.
Board members were presented the results of the new needs assessment Wednesday.
"The board made the decision not to go out for a bond issue in 2008," Basin Recreation Director Ken Mickelsen said.
Strategic Research Institute polled 300 people in western Summit County this spring for the district.
Less than 49 percent of those polled said they would support a recreation bond in November, Mickelsen said, adding that the number dropped from 53 percent in 2007.
"If a vote was taken today, in all likelihood a funding measure would fail based upon concerns over the state of the economy," he said. "Sixty-three percent of the people definitely have some real concerns."
Forty-two percent of those polled say the economy is experiencing a "downturn," Mickelsen said, adding that 21 percent say there is an economic recession.
Some economists say a recession occurs when the economy shrinks for six straight months, which reportedly has not occurred in the U.S. since 2001.
Twenty-seven percent of those polled by Basin Recreation said the economy is "strong but slowing." Only six percent claimed the economy was "strong," Mickelsen said.
"A few more people think it is going to be stronger in a year from now than it is today," he said.
Meanwhile, most of those polled "expressed interest in the need to expand the (Basin Recreation) Field House, additional trails and a community indoor/outdoor pool," Mickelsen said.
"They’ll certainly re-look at [a bond] again in 2009," he said about the board. "A lot depends on what the economy is like."
Priorities for expanding the Field House at Kimball Junction included a larger fitness area, gymnasium, a second indoor field, a climbing wall and a leisure swimming pool.
"The people had a range of things they would like to see," Mickelsen said, adding that a second indoor playing field topped most wish lists.
Voters rejected a bond for Basin Recreation in 2006.
"There has been a lot of talk about pools," Mickelsen said. "And the Field House was designed for expansion."
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed prefer an indoor-outdoor swimming pool on the West Side, he said.
"Twenty-five percent said they would prefer a year-round indoor pool," Mickelsen said, adding that 18 percent would prefer "a seasonal outdoor pool."
If not at the Field House, 46 percent of those polled would prefer the pool be built at Ecker Hill International Middle School near Pinebrook. Twenty-nine percent said the district should partner with the National Ability Center to build the pool. Eleven percent prefer the Park City Racquet Club as an alternative location.
"They would love to see us partner with a different agency," Mickelsen said.
But 31 percent wanted the pool built at the Basin Recreation Field House.
The cost for a swimming pool "all depends on what features you’re going to have, and what size you’re going to build," Mickelsen said, adding that some who responded to the survey indicated they would be willing to pay $50 to $75 more in property taxes to fund district improvements.
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