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The birth of this fiasco began about here at least this is about when the public at large got wind of it. This is a high dollar PLAY concept make no bones about it. Does it ever stop?
PLAY Committee Members
Kelly Barth, Mark Buhler, Dave Corliss, Fred DeVictor, Rick Gammill, Mike Grosdidier, Sue Hack, Paige Hofer, Bonnie Lowe, Pam Madl, Julie Manning, Scott Morgan(USD 497), Wayne Osness, Linda Robinson(USD 497), Bob Sanner, Ernie Shaw, Doug Stremel and Doug Vance.
The Mission Statement of PLAY
Background and Process
The first step in the needs assessment was to collect data from a variety of sources. Three methods were developed to collect data for this study. The design team has completed the following:
Be practical! Go where taxpayers own the land as we speak and much infrastructure is in place.
For a community of 68,000 Lawrence has plenty of gym space = reality.
How can Lawrence taxpayers get the best bang for our 1994 sales tax bucks and improve the quality of life for families throughout the entire community?
Construct a NW neighborhood rec center with 2-3 gyms and a walking/jogging track for public exercise probably for about $10 million. On city owned property. Now we have achieved shoring up the alleged lack of court space.
Connect the Burroughs Creek hike and bike path to the river levy by way off Hobbs Park through the new development in the "eastside warehouse district". A design path has been created so lets get on with it. Maybe cost $200,000.
In doing the above Lawrence,Kansas has effectively improved the quality of life for more families throughout the sales tax dollar community. This is definitely within the spirit of the 1994 sales tax that was approved by families throughout the community.
Local participants need to learn how to make use of what space is available. It's all about scheduling. All participants cannot practice at the same time nor play at the same time. Convenience gets too expensive for my tax dollar. If more basketball and soccer games are wanted stretch out the local season..... August 21st to May 1st. We city slickers are not restricted to NCAA rules.
Adding 2-3 gyms to the existing inventory will spell relief. The land near Free State is owned by taxpayers and so is the existing infrastructure now in place.
We've reading some about this new high dollar living project that comes with a 18 hole golf course,new city infrastructure and tax incentives..... it is located nearby this new Field House project.
The more structures and land the city own's the more the budget becomes expanded which is in and if itself a tax dollar increase any way taxpayers look at it.
Put it to a city-wide vote.
This entire project has been mired in secrecy and was conceived in back rooms from the start.
Thanks to Chad Lawhorn the people know a little more about it. Kudos for doing what a journalist is supposed to do, Mr. Lawhorn.
I don't want the city to do business with taxpayer money with an individual who fleeced another city (Fritzel, Junction City).
And that they were about to, makes he question the entire project and the integrity of KU Endowment, the city commission, and all parties involved.
They sure as hell ain't going down, either. Given your affinity with the right wing agenda, I am surprised, rockchalk, that you are not screaming as loud as you can, "Nix the project and lower the sales tax rate." Perhaps you or some or your buddies stand to make a little pocket money on the project.?
An exceedingly temperate, balanced and well reasoned editorial. I cannot understand how anyone--even the most ardent supporters of a mega rec center--could disagree with the editorial's central premise. If we are going to do it, let's do it right.
"What other details about this project are still hanging?" How about those 30+ events/tournaments per year that will supposedly show up to help pay the overhead for this thing? Identify who some of these might be. Talk to their leaders/organizers about the likelihood of their abandoning their current venue for Lawrence. The current host cities certainly aren't going to give up without a fight. I don't see it happening. But I do see Lawrence townspeople getting stuck with a larger tab on this than optimistic commissioners suggest. Perhaps we should be focusing more on essentials, like the impending infrastructure upgrades.
"Lawrence city commissioners need to make sure they have dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s before moving forward ..."
What's to worry about? It's not like they'd put a little note on a huge set of documents saying something like they'd put up huge, ugly cell phone towers. Or something.
Here's another scenario that might come back to bite taxpayers in the butt. This one gets built.
There is an equity issue no matter what and this new giant facility will not make that go away.
That still leaves North Lawrence and Southeast Lawrence without a rec center. Both have had
a major influx of population and still growing. SE Lawrence does have Prairie Park Nature Center however athletic events cannot be scheduled.
WE taxpayers know this field house scenario will cost we taxpayers more than $31 million after all infrastructure is installed etc etc etc. Traffic Lights/water lines etc etc get expensive.
Considering the total cost will be more than 31 million no matter how the picture is painted why not build a neighborhood rec center in NW Lawrence with 3 gyms, North Lawrence with two gyms, and Southeast Lawrence with 2 gyms ?
This is going to come up. Spend an estimated 11 million on each each facility.
Schedule local athletic events according to where most team members reside.
Jumping in a car to drive across town is not practical thinking. Not any longer. 29 cents a gallon polluting gasoline went bye bye bye some time ago.
A ton of people in Lawrence do not bring home $60,000 or more in wages such that a lot of the loudest promoters do and some are on a tax dollar payroll.
In fact it seems this 1994 sales tax money was to provide "neighborhood" centers and such. SE Lawrence is going to want a swimming pool one day.
The ballot should read:
One large Field House
3 equitable neighborhood rec centers...
Why drop 31 million tax $$$$$ in one neighborhood for one rec center?
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