Draper city residents expecting to vote in favor of a $29 million tax bond for the construction of a recreation center in the June primary will be disappointed to see it won’t be on the ballot. Draper City Council is withdrawing the measure amid concerns from the Draper business community.
Shane Huish owns Cowabunga Bay water park in Draper. He and others opposed the measure because they fear the city’s new recreation center would take customers away from them. That’s why Draper Mayor Darrell Smith says city officials want to work with local businesses to ensure they’re not competing with them.
“We want to be team players, them with us and us with them," he says. "We want to recognize differences and also similarities and see how we erase the line in the sand and draw closer to the center. And the center is going to bring us together. And I think we’ll accomplish that.”
City officials are putting together a stakeholder group to look at how and if the city should provide a recreation center. Recent surveys show 72% of Draper residents wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes for a new rec center, but Draper City Councilman Allen Summerhays says the public perception of what that center would look like is distorted.
“We’ve sort of portrayed a Taj Mahal type thing and We want a rec center and to me a rec center is for kids," Summerhays says. "No Pilates, none of this stuff, for baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and things like that. It isn’t to compete with places like the Tree House and Gold’s Gym and so on and so forth."
Opponents of the bond also argued the measure should be placed on the November ballot instead, when more voters tend to show up at the polls.