To the editor:
The projected cost of the new rec center is too much. It has been reported the city would pay $100,000 each month for 20 years for the facility. I met with Parks and Rec and was told it would cost an extra $1 million a year to operate. That’s about $83,000 each month. That makes the city’s obligation approximately $183,000 per month for the next 20 years.
A few years ago, a gambling casino wanted to build in Douglas County. Their request was denied because some thought the gambling element would be bad for Lawrence. Isn’t that what is being done with the new rec center? The City Commission is gambling that Lawrence can attract all kinds of events to defray the cost of building and operating this cash-eating monster. Just because you build it, doesn’t mean people and events will come to it. Just ask Frisco, Texas. They are $1 million behind in payments for their sports facility.
If Lawrence doesn’t get selected for events, how is the city going to make up the shortfall? And don’t forget the $58 million sewage treatment facility, the $40 million police facility and additional officers, plus what is needed to maintain the water intakes from the Kansas River.
Question is, what is more important to Lawrence: clean drinking water, a sewage treatment plant and someone to respond to your 911 calls quickly, or basketball courts? Why jeopardize Lawrence’s financial stability in the unstable economy? A balanced budget is better than a bankrupt city.