To help clarify and correct the mis-information that is swirling about the proposed new Recreation Center, the Springville Recreation Committee is providing the following answers to the two most frequently asked questions:
(1) Is there a need and (2) Can we afford it?
1. Is there a need? YES!
Q Do we need a Recreation Center?
A Yes. Currently, Springville citizens must visit neighboring cities for indoor recreation facilities. All we now have to choose from is a deteriorating swimming pool and limited commercial options. In 2009 and 2011 surveys, 80 percent of Springville citizens indicated their willingness to pay for a Recreation Center. The new Recreation Center will promote healthy living and enhance the quality of life in Springville. It will also produce economic growth and increased revenues. We need to invest in our community.
Q What will the new facility offer?
A The Recreation Center will offer an indoor running/walking track; competitive/exercise/lap and leisure pools; large gymnasiums; exercise/fitness/dance classrooms; cardio and fitness equipment; drop-in child care; community/party rooms; and outdoor water features. According to surveys, citizens want the center to provide general physical fitness facilities for all Springville residents, plus facilities for senior aquatic exercise, swim lessons, high school recreation and club swimming, youth sports (water polo), lifeguard training, boy scout merit-badge certification, tri-athlete training, year-round public swimming, and adult water-aerobics.
Q How will a new Recreation Center improve Springville?
A The proposed Recreation Center meets critical community needs:
- Youth need to be involved in positive, structured activities. Without these options, they may choose harmful activities toengage their time. A recreation center provides activities that give youth adult mentors, goals to accomplish, and positive reinforcement.
- A Recreation Center provides life-time fitness and well-being for all ages. Exercise benefits individuals by lowering blood cholesterol, improving resting heart rate, strengthening muscles and bones, relieving stress, and helping people feel good about themselves.
- A Recreation Center creates unity and common interest in a community— it makes a community better by promoting friendships and bonding through shared activities. This makes Springville a better place to live.
Q How will the new Recreation Center interact with private enterprise?
A As with most cities, Springville City recreational leagues and programs co-exist with private recreational companies. In addition, the center will offer many features these businesses do not provide.
Q Who will use the facility?
A Everyone—young and old! Springville seniors will enjoy the new Recreation Center for walking, exercise, and classes year round; children and families of all ages can enjoy the new swimming pool; and gyms and classrooms will be available for year-round recreation and league use.
Q What happens if the new bond is not approved?
A We will not have a new recreation center in Springville, and the fate of the existing deteriorating pool will be decided by City staff and officials.
2. Can we afford it? YES!
Q How much will the Recreation Center cost Springville?
A The proposed bond will be FIXED at $21 million for 25 years or less. Spread across 30,000 citizens over the life of the bond, this is a very reasonable cost. (Currently, Springville is bonded for less than 10 percent of what it could be bonded.) And if we build now, Nebo School District will provide Springville $2 million toward the facility because Nebo schools will come to the pool for competition and training. Note: This cost is competitive with other recreation centers—for example, Provo citizens recently approved a $39 million bond for their new recreation center.
Q What will the bond cost me?
A Just over $8 per month for the average home! Only the “city” portion of your property taxes will increase. The average home in Springville is valued at $169,900, and the new tax will be approximately $8.29/month. Right now, your city tax is about 15 percent of your overall property tax, and the increase will raise your overall property tax by just 8 percent (not 50 percent as claimed by opponents to the bond). And as Springville grows, the new growth (including both residential and commercial) will actually decrease the overall annual fees for the new bond. Thus, as more people and businesses build in Springville, the monthly household cost will go down!
Q What is the Sales Use Tax and why is it necessary?
A The bond will pay for construction of the new facility—the small sales-use tax will help pay to operate the center. The amount of the sales-use tax is only 10 cents for every $100 non-food purchase. For example, if you buy a $500 television, the Sales Use Tax will add 50 cents tax to your cost. And this tax will be collected from all consumers in Springville, including non-residents. So, when visiting shoppers buy at local businesses, they will help pay for the operational costs of the Recreation Center.
Q Isn't Springville already in debt?
A Yes; just like most cities, Springville does carry some debt. Just like managing your home finances, Springville City sometimes incurs debt to make key purchases. However, contrary to other governments, Springville City follows a practice of saving for many of these big purchases. As a result, Springville City’s bond rating (similar to a citizen’s credit rating) was raised in 2010 to the highest score it has ever had—an “AA” rating—given to Springville because of its low-risk, financially secure position.
Springville City is fiscally conservative and maintains the highest reserves allowed by state law in its General Fund. In the midst of the recent recession, Springville City increased reserves in other funds managed by the City. By state law, Springville City has a balanced budget that can be reviewed at Springville.org. Springville’s City Council has thoughtfully and responsibly recommended the bond as a financially sound way to build the proposed recreational community center.
Q Where will the funds come from to operate the proposed Recreation Center?
A Revenue to cover the operational costs will come from two sources: the larger portion to come from revenue generated by the center itself, and the smaller portion generated by the Sales Use Tax.
Q How much will it cost to use the facility?
A As with Hobble Creek Golf Course, also owned by Springville, a moderate fee will be charged, both for one-time usage and for monthly and annual passes. Monthly and annual passes will be available at rates competitive with similar Utah County recreation centers. Non-residents will pay higher fees.
Q Why should we build it now?
A Because of the recession, construction and interest rates are at historic lows. One current construction project in Provo is saving over $1 million because of current low costs. If we act now, we also can save millions, and we can expect monthly household costs to actually go down over time as future new properties and businesses contribute to bond cost. To wait is to pay much more later!
Q Why should I have to pay when I might not use a Recreation Center?
A This is a fair question that takes a principled viewpoint to answer. Communities are built on the principle of public sharing for the public good. For example, we all share the costs of roads, safety, national security, schools, and prisons. We can’t do individually what we can do collectively. Choosing to vote “yes” for a center that helps improve the quality of life for children, youth, and families is a choice to improve the overall community for future generations. We have all benefited from the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, and now it’s our turn to help the current and future generations.
A few other questions and answers…
Q Where will the Recreation Center be built?
A The proposed site is west of 950 West and south of 400 South—easily accessible from Springville’s four-lane 400 South road.
Q Who decided the size of the center?
A Springville citizens were polled for their views on the most important aspects of the new facility, and that information was used to design the building. The city has also planned that Springville’s population will never outgrow the Recreation Center. The estimated growth for Springville will top out at 60,000, and this facility will adequately provide services for that population.
Q Why is there opposition to the bond?
A Throughout the country, there is always opposition to bonds. Just as you might incur debt when you buy a new car, a city incurs debt with a bond, and additional temporary taxes are needed to pay for the bond. We are honest about the estimated costs and revenues and have done extensive research to be as accurate as possible. But because every Springville survey has shown that citizens want a new Recreation Center, we believe the benefits outweigh the costs.
Q Where can I go for more information?
A Please read more at www.springvillerec.org.
We hope you will vote YES for a Recreation Center.
We believe it is wise for our citizens and wise for our budget.