Primary Showdown Looms Over $29M Draper Recreation Center

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The city of Draper faces a showdown over a bond issue on the June 26 primary ballot that would finance a $29 million, 120,000-square-foot to 140,000-square-foot recreation center. Since the city placed the issue on the ballot in early April, surveys commissioned by local authorities have shown public backing for taxes [...]

The city of Draper faces a showdown over a bond issue on the June 26 primary ballot that would finance a $29 million, 120,000-square-foot to 140,000-square-foot recreation center. Since the city placed the issue on the ballot in early April, surveys commissioned by local authorities have shown public backing for taxes that would pay off the bonds. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 72 percent of local residents support the levy.

As the election approaches, however, critics are ramping up their activity. The Utah Taxpayers Association opposes the bond issue because of the date of the election and because of what it argues is double-dipping. Draper residents would already be paying for a county-funded recreation center to be developed by 2016. As a result, city residents, who also contribute to the county coffers, would be paying for two different recreation center projects, the organization contends.

A Draper recreation center was identified four years ago as a priority in a 2008 parks and recreation master plan, but only recently has the idea gained enough steam for a bond measure to go before the voters. Low interest rates on public bonds and competitive construction costs also motivated Draper’s timing.  The city’s goal is for the facility to operate in the black, with $1.5 million in projected revenues offsetting roughly the same level of operating expenses.

Image courtesy of the city of Draper.