In a resounding defeat, Eagle Mountain residents have put an end to a proposed aquatics center.
The vote was more than two-to-one against the proposed 25-year bond for $7 million to build a public pool.
The aquatics center would have included an 11,000 square-foot leisure pool, a zero-depth pool for young children, water slides, a lazy river, lap pool, six-lane competition-style pool, general swimming area, locker rooms, concessions, a party room, pavilions, and outdoor grassy areas.
The average home would have seen a property tax increase of $5.72 per month or about $68 per year.
The aquatics center had been proposed as part of Mid-Valley Regional Park, located on Sweetwater Road, about two miles south of Hidden Hollow Elementary and one mile north of Eagle Valley Elementary. There was space at the site for future expansion of the recreation center, officials had said.
Even if the property tax increase had won at the polls, users would have still needed to pay admission fees; city officials had said they would sell daily, monthly, and annual passes, though no price had been set. The admission fee revenues would have been used to pay for the operation and maintenance costs of the aquatics center, while property tax money, had it been approved, would have been used to pay back the bond issued to construct the aquatics center. Non-residents would have been charged a higher fee.
In meetings leading up to Tuesday’s vote, public opinion about the project fell on both sides. Some residents had said now is not the time for the city to be borrowing money to build something that is a need and not a want. Others said an outdoor pool would turn into a “mud bath” with the city’s dust problem, and the city should wait and build a rec center next to a future high school, working with the school district. Still others said the city should give an incentive, such as property, to a private firm to build and operate the facility as a business.