Letter to the Editor: Hurricane voters should think twice about ‘mammoth’ bond proposal for sports facilities

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — The upcoming Hurricane election will be a simple test of whether or not the citizens of this town are paying close attention to the candidates and the bond proposal on the ballot. Actually, close attention isn’t required because it’s pretty obvious that some of the candidates are clearly unqualified or have alliances and interests that would detract from their ability to perform as public servants.

A recent letter from Steve Garcia did a good job of pointing out some problems that some of the candidates bring to the polls. If you do a little reading, you should be able to make a pretty fair estimate as to how good of a job they might (or might not) do.

The elephant in the room, however, is the mammoth bond proposal that asks the taxpayers to grant carte blanche approval for the recreation department to spend $25 million on swimming pools and gym facilities.

I don’t believe it is the city’s responsibility to provide a sports complex of any kind for the public’s use. A private developer might see a way to build such a facility and charge admission to those who wish to use it. Users of the facilities would pay for its construction.

Instead, advocates for the bonds are asking taxpayers to foot the bill. That means that many folks who are too old to use competition swimming pools or participate in team sports or bat a ball around the court would pay for something they can’t use. Even if they felt the urge to play pickleball or take a few laps in the pool, they’d also have to cough up a “user’s fee.” Younger people might have a broader interest in other recreation facilities, but they will find those user fees adding up to hundreds of dollars each year.

The worst part of this bond proposal is that it is very expensive. If the proponents want to spend a few (or many) million on a project, that’s one thing. Part two of this enterprise would require raising your property taxes by hundreds of dollars to pay back the bond over a period of time in excess of 20 years. Do you really want to pay additional property taxes for that period of time?

Think twice before you vote.

Submitted by DON TRIPTOW, Hurricane.

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