Spanish Fork Mayor Mike Mendenhall announced in an online video Thursday that Spanish Fork will be getting a new indoor-outdoor water recreation center and seniors center.
According to Mendenhall, planning for the facility has just begun. Therefore, many details are still unresolved.
“There are still a lot of unknowns, like how much it will cost, what features will be included and when it will be open. Please be patient as we work to figure them out,” Mendenhall said. “There are also a lot of things that we know, number one, we currently don’t have a pool. Second, it is up to us to shape our future and as elected officials, this is the future we have chosen after hearing your feedback.
He noted in the video that the deal moving forward was between him and the Spanish Fork City Council. The council is working alongside a citizens’ committee to formulate plans for the new aquatic center. According to Mendenhall, the citizens’ committee will visit recreation centers in nearby communities, such as Springville and Orem, to assess which aspects should or should not be incorporated into the Spanish Fork center.
Although there is no official timeline, Mendenhall expects the new aquatic center could take at least two years to complete.
According to Mendenhall, the construction of a new aquatic center in the city has become a priority for the Spanish Fork City Council after the Spanish Fork City Water Park closed permanently at the end of the season in 2021 to prepare for the renovation of the nearby high school. .
Along with the city’s growth and safety, finding a way to build a new leisure center and swimming pool was one of Mendenhall’s main issues when he ran for mayor last year.
“We’ve been talking about it since we knew our current pool was going to close,” Mendenhall said. “We obviously wanted to assess citizens through an election like the one that just happened… pretty much everyone we spoke to their number one question was ‘what are you going to do about a swimming pool , we’ve heard talk about a recreation center, what are you gonna do about it? »
A nearly $40 million bond was proposed in 2015 to fund the construction of an Urban Living Center, which would have been a three-in-one senior center, library, and recreation center. Finally, the link is not passed.
Mendenhall believes residents weren’t opposed to the recreation center in 2015, but rather the proposed means of funding it.
“The center of life discussion and that vote that took place on the ballot was not so much in a way that, at least the people I spoke to, of saying ‘hey, we don’t don’t want these facilities,” it was just, “hey, we don’t know if that’s how we want to pay for this, and we don’t know if it’s the right time,” Mendenhall said. .
Mendenhall believes the failure of the tie was for the best, as the city now has additional sources of funding to fund the new combined aquatic and seniors recreation center.
“About 15 years ago, we celebrated having a million dollar sales tax revenue per year, and now Spanish Fork City brings in about a million dollars per month in sales tax revenue,” Mendenhall said.
The state of the economy today, as opposed to seven years ago, has also led Spanish Fork officials to consider the plan. Mendenhall said the new recreation facility will likely be paid for using revenue from sales tax, Spanish Fork RAP tax, property tax and potential donations from local businesses.
While property taxes will likely still be used as a source of funding for this project, Mendenhall said residents will pay far less than they would have paid for the center of city life. Still, the amount residents will pay is unknown.
“We don’t know for sure because those numbers are pretty fluid, it depends on what’s going to be included in the install,” Mendenhall said. “I’m sure I can say that it’s nothing next to what was offered at the time of the center of life. If there is a property tax component, it is much less.
Mendenhall said more information will be released about the project via a webpage, which will also be created in the near future, and that residents concerned about the construction of a new aquatic center should contact him, or members of Council. municipal.
“We’re open to things if they need to be adjusted, we don’t think we know everything about everything,” he said.